Grumpy Lokean Elder

An informational blog for Heathenry, Folklore, Folk Magic, and other related things.
Asks are currently closed. ON HIATUS.

Some stuff has come up, and I need to take a break from the blog for awhile, so this blog is currently on hiatus.

I am still at glegrumbles.



A tiny County Louth village has been confirmed as home to one of the most important Viking sites in the world.

Carbon testing on trenches at a ‘virgin’ site in Annagassan have revealed that the small rural community once housed a Viking winter base, one of only two in Ireland.

The other went on to become Dublin but the Annagassan site, 50 miles north of the capital, was believed to be the stuff of mythology and folklore until now.

Geophysical tests funded by Dundalk’s County Museum have allowed scientists to make the big breakthrough. Read more.



On an excavation site in Oegstgeest, Leiden University archaeologists discovered a very rare silver bowl from the first half of the seventh century. The bowl is decorated with gold-plated representations of animals and plants and inlaid with semi-precious stones. The discovery suggests the existence of an elite with a wide international network in Oegstgeest.

Researchers are assuming that the bowl, which is 21 centimetres wide and 11 centimetres high, was buried as part of a ritual sacrifice. Such gilded discoveries are extremely rare. This one is exceptional because such bowls were usually made of bronze. In addition, they were not, as a rule, lavishly decorated with gold leaf. This means that we are dealing with an artefact that is unique, not only for the Netherlands, but for all of Western Europe. Read more.


The Viking Age is the period from 793 AD to 1066 AD in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, following the Germanic Iron Age. It is the period of history when Scandinavian Norsemen explored Europe by its seas and rivers for trade, raids and conquest. In this period, the Vikings also settled in Norse Greenland and Newfoundland, and present-day Faroe Islands, Iceland, Normandy, Scotland, Ireland, Russia and Anatolia. [1]


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Here are some of my posts on Ásatrú and/or Lokean-related topics:

Historical Heathenry/ies:

Ásatrú Basics:

Ásatrú Holidays:

The Modern Heathen Community:


Other Heathen Deities:

Ásatrú and Other Religions:

Sökkvabekkr Kindred:


It seems like everywhere in Heathenry people have very polarized views about “the Eddas.” Some treat them like they are divinely-inspired, unquestionable texts, sometimes even going as far as to carry around “pocket Hávamáls" or conduct Christian-like "Eddas devotionals." Others mock anyone who references Eddic material in a discussion, claiming that "Snorri wrote it to convert people to Christianity" or something of the like. All I see is inaccurate information everywhere I look, so I decided to make an info post with some basic facts about "the Eddas."

-The Poetic Edda -

Also sometimes called the Elder Edda or Sæmundar Edda^, this text is a collection of poems of indeterminate origins.

Usually the term “Poetic Edda" refers to a specific manuscript, the Codex Regius,which was not discovered until 1643 in the back of another book. Before this, Icelanders only had access to the Snorra Edda (“Prose Edda”) and a few Eddic poems, discussed below. However, because of the references made in the Snorra Edda, it is clear that many of these poems must have existed before that text’s composition.

The Codex Regius is usually dated around 1270. It is very likely that this collection was not used by Snorri when composing the Snorra Edda, because he makes references to poems (such as Hyndluljóð) that do not appear in the Codex Regius. It seems that there were several stages involved in the compilation of this manuscript; Because some of the leafs are more crammed than others, it is likely the scribe was working from an exemplar, or previous text.

Above all, it is important to keep in mind that the poems in the Codex Regius were composed by different poets, at different times, and in different locations. It is a compilation of various poems, not a unified work with a single author.

There are also a few Eddic poems that do not occur in the Codex Regius, such as Hyndluljóð (previously mentioned) which is found in Landnámabók, and some that are included in other sources in addition to the Codex Regius, such as Völuspá, which also appears in Hauksbók.

There have been many attempts to date individual poems and determine which are “authentically heathen.”

The first method often used in this effort is the observation of various linguistic characteristics in the poems, particularly the roticism of es>er in conjugations of vera, to determine a projected date. The shift to “er” is first observed in a Norwegian source around 1182, and finally changed over exclusively to “er” by 1230. However, several poems in the Codex Regius use “es,” thus they seem to predate this shift.

The second method scholars have utilized in efforts to date the poems is intertextuality: both the use of other sources in the Eddic poems and the use of Eddic poems in other sources. For example, Völuspá st. 45 borrows heavily from Mark 13, suggesting that Biblical material must have been known to some degree by its poet. On the other end of this discussion, we have skaldic poets such as Eyvindr skáldaspillir (10th century: Hákonarmál, etc.) quoting stanzas from the Hávamál (“Deyr fé/ deyja frændr”), suggesting the existence of the Hávamál prior to this time. Any poem referenced in Snorra Edda can be dated as older than 1230.

These two methods of dating¹ can provide useful points of discussion, but should not be treated as foolproof. For one thing, Eddic poetry is less strictly structured than skaldic poetry, and thus less stable: It is possible that these poems changed over time with each recitation. Furthermore, we must be mindful of the possibility that particular stanzas or pieces of stanzas could have been added at the time the manuscript was written. Some Eddic “poems” may even be two or more poems spliced together (both Hávamál and Hyndluljóð show evidence of this).

In short, the “Poetic Edda" is a book of poetry drawn from different sources and pieced together into a collection. These poems were composed by poets and likely recited before an audience,² passed down orally before they were written down. The prologues and epilogues for these poems were probably written later than the poems themselves, and their origins are also uncertain. Most extant poems come from a single manuscript, the Codex Regius, but Snorri Sturluson was likely using a different set of poems when he wrote Snorra Edda. And, finally, Snorri Sturluson did not write the Poetic Edda.

.: A “User Guide” to Content about the Æsir in the Poetic Edda :.

Because of its composite nature, the Poetic Edda can be a daunting read. While all of it is useful and entertaining, I am going to take some time to call attention to the most “myth heavy” poems for those approaching Eddic poetry for the first time:

  • Poems that discuss Gods, their halls, and family relationships: Vafðrúðnismál, Grímnismál
  • Poems about other cosmological issues, particularly the beginning and end of the world: VöluspáVafþrúðnismál, Baldrs draumar (not CR), Hyndluljóð/Völuspá in skamma (not CR)
  • Stories about particular Gods: Hávamál (Óðinn, interspersed), Skírnismál (Freyr), Hárbarðsljóð (Þórr, Óðinn), Hymiskviða (Þórr, Týr), Lokasenna (Loki, et al.), Þrymskviða (Þórr, Loki, Freyja), Reginsmál (Óðinn, Hœnir, Loki), Baldrs draumar (Baldr, Óðinn, not CR), Hyndluljóð (Freyja, not CR), Rígsþula (Rígr, not CR)
  • Poems dealing with runic magic: Sigrdrífumál, Hávamál
  • Proverbs and sayings: Hávamál

This list is by no means exhaustive, but I hope this offers a starting point for reading about these topics.

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Hey GLE! in response to my Heimdal-Iring question you mentioned worship of staves and stave enclosures and pole worship and linked it to Heimdall as an embodiment of the world tree. But in my German texts this is usually seen to refer to carved wooden idols of deities that are like pillars, which were found in bogs. They are called “Pfahlidol”, and in general people here assume that this is what Ibn Fadlan meant. Idk that’s just my information :)

Yes, these usually get shorthanded as “godpoles” when discussed in the community, and some Deities’ faces were carved into poles for offering and worship, aside from the idea that some “plain” poles might have represented the World Tree. :) There’s also some speculation that the carved high seat pillars (Öndvegissúlur) might be related to this concept.

If you can find some notes about what the German texts have to say about Pfahlidol, I would be very interested in seeing them! I wasn’t aware that we had some bog finds relating to this.
Hi! I’ve seen some people claim that Idun and/or Sigyn are Njord’s daughters. Is this supported by lore?

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… by a predominantly recon-derived hard polytheist.

I’d appreciate it if the community at large could stop painting Pop Culture Pagans as ignorant, lazy, intellectually-deficient teen fangirls who know nothing about magic systems, don’t bother to research, and don’t understand/mock historical polytheistic faiths.

I’m predominantly well-known for researched posts about Heathenry and folk magic, but I am also a Pop Culture Pagan in my side practice.

All of my entries for 30 Days of Pop Culture Paganism are here.

Because watching the posts flying by on Tumblr and elsewhere about Pop Culture Paganism yet again has been particularly tiring.

Pop Culture Paganism is not a new thing. It’s not a Tumblr invention. It’s  not “silly newbies who don’t know anything” and “fake pagans who make REAL (TM) Pagans look bad”. There are more Pagans and Polytheists out there than just me who are predominantly involved in historical polytheistic faiths and have pop culture practices on the side. It’s simply not well-known that many people have these side practices because of the shitty reactions people get when opening up about it.

Do you know anything about the “sons of Mimir”? I think they’re talked about in Voluspa. I was just wondering what/who they were, as I’ve never seen anything else about them.

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Are owls related to any Norse Gods?

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So I went through your entire Rune tag and read up a lot of awesome info about the runes, but from what I read, there was only one thing about physically making the runes. Unfortunately, I am at a loss for trees so I was going to go to a craft store and get a dowel or something of the sort. Then a wood burner, and Red Ochre to stain them. I was planning on using runes just for divination, so is this an ok method on making the runes?

Dear herbaceous-conjury,

In all honesty, this should be fine. There are some writings by Heathens out there that insist runes can only be made from this or that fruit-bearing tree harvested live from the tree at this or that particular time, but none of that seems to make much of a difference, from what I’ve seen. Runes made from stones, bones, clay, or whatever wood you can acquire seem to work just fine for divination.
To be a heathen from any branch do you have to learn things from all the branches? For example if someone wants to follow anglo-saxon tradition one will read not just the sources available about anglo-saxon but also about norse, germanic, frisian etc?

Dear Anon,

The answer is a mixed yes and no. Essentially, due to the history of when each area was Christianized and how things were or were not written down or preserved in folklore and folk traditions (in various forms, sometimes far removed from what the original ideas and practices were)… other branches of Heathenry tend to learn and use Scandinavian materials because that’s where we have the most surviving material. The Scandinavian information is used to try to fill in holes or supplement what has survived in their focus area. So while German, Frisian, Frankish, or Anglo-Saxon Heathens might not know much about each other and their respective regional variances, they will probably all be somewhat familiar with Scandinavian texts and practices.

(via oldnorse)