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The Afterlife


Rodulf
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What is the Makers view on the Afterlife? I have come to accept reincarnation as very probable, but I've noticed that most cultures that hold to this view also want to get off the rebirth merry-go-round. I have a feeling that the after-death state is way more complex than we usually think and has many cultural elements. As a Norse Heathen the most important thing to overcome is the base self, our lower nature, our fears. 

  Just wanted to feel out you guys and hear what the other members think about this very important part of life!

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The Maker cosmology does include reincarnation but it's different than what most people think of. Basically, when you die, your energy will return to the human energy pool but you won't maintain your complete self; your energy will come unbound and dissipate into 'threads.' These threads that were once you will meld with all the other threads of people in the human energy pool This pool is where new life comes from. There is no 'design' or lessons that need to be learned, etc. similar to other reincarnation cosmologies. Think of a big ladle, dipping into the pool of threads, all mixing together and pulling out the energy of a human that is being born. It's a bit of a crap shoot for what threads you get although you can often get larger chunks of former people's energy. If you find yourself drawn to a particular era in history or culture for now rational reason, it could be that you have threads from someone from that time mixed in your total energy.  Now, some shamans have found ways to keep their energy fully intact when they enter the pool and will be born again, maintaining their energetic makeup but that's rare and not easy to accomplish.

2 hours ago, Rodulf said:

As a Norse Heathen the most important thing to overcome is the base self, our lower nature, our fears. 

I would say that is true for Makers as well, although we might call it getting beyond ego and mind.

What is the Norse Heathen view on reincarnation?

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Actually, somewhat similar, from what we know. Our Ancestors saw the human soul as "layers" or "parts", each taking a different path after death, usually down family lines. They also believed that a self-sacrificing act, such as death in battle, would win a soul to certain dedicated Gods...Valholl, Odin's Hall of the Chosen Slain, and other Gods and Goddesses. To this I would add current research into NDE's which suggest strongly that our personal and cultural beliefs and expectations have an effect on the experience of dying.

It's my understanding that the Maker beliefs came from France, correct? If so, I wonder how much Norse shamanism may have influenced it, through the Norman invasion. The "energy pool" you referred to sounds very similar to the Germanic "Ginnungagap" the void of magically charged space, that the Multiverse arose from and will dissolve back into.

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Very interesting...thanks to you both! Lorrie, can you elaborate on shamans keeping themselves intact in the human pool, or at least intending to do so? Why would we? 

Further, you said there's no particular design for what threads wind up becoming a part of you but its not random either, is it? I think about themes that have been recurring throughout my past lives that continue to resonate, like being the village healer...it seems seamless.

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15 hours ago, Rodulf said:

It's my understanding that the Maker beliefs came from France, correct? If so, I wonder how much Norse shamanism may have influenced it, through the Norman invasion. The "energy pool" you referred to sounds very similar to the Germanic "Ginnungagap" the void of magically charged space, that the Multiverse arose from and will dissolve back into.

Technically, it was the region of Gaul, which I think overlaps parts for France and Germany? It's definitely possible there was some influence at some point as it is an old tradition. The 'modern' form of it happened around 600 years ago, roughly. I'm not sure about Ginnungagap being the energy pool, from the description I read, it sounds more like what we would call the abyss. The energy pool is basically the human mold, each species has a mold and an energy pool where individuals return to. And yes, DNA does create a thread through all of it as parents DNA/energy gets transferred to children but other energy comes in as well.

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3 hours ago, peastacey said:

Very interesting...thanks to you both! Lorrie, can you elaborate on shamans keeping themselves intact in the human pool, or at least intending to do so? Why would we? 

Further, you said there's no particular design for what threads wind up becoming a part of you but its not random either, is it? I think about themes that have been recurring throughout my past lives that continue to resonate, like being the village healer...it seems seamless.

Some people want to be immortal. ;) At one time, I thought that would have been cool to be able to exist beyond time but am not so sure now, it seems quite lonely. As far as themes in past lives, as far as the cosmology goes, there would always be a somewhat fresh start. Not all of your past lives were village healers and not all of your energy now is a village healer. But maybe one of those past village healers had a very strong intent to persevere into the future or maybe your particular makeup now has a strong village healer intent that seeks to connect with knowledge from the past. 

That being said, there does seem to be an amalgam effect happening over thousands of years of like attracting like in people's predilections.  Over time, people's individual lives - as they pass through death and new configurations are created in a new individual (that has never existed before exactly), you can see that many people feel drawn to be something, an artist, farmer or healer that doesn't match their current lives family background. They often feel like they are a mismatch. It would be an interesting journey to take to try and take in that process of life and re-birth happening over millennia to see if/what human energy is evolving into.

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The idea of being immortal scares me more than the thought of oblivion.

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9 hours ago, silenceseeker said:

Technically, it was the region of Gaul, which I think overlaps parts for France and Germany? It's definitely possible there was some influence at some point as it is an old tradition. The 'modern' form of it happened around 600 years ago, roughly. I'm not sure about Ginnungagap being the energy pool, from the description I read, it sounds more like what we would call the abyss. The energy pool is basically the human mold, each species has a mold and an energy pool where individuals return to. And yes, DNA does create a thread through all of it as parents DNA/energy gets transferred to children but other energy comes in as well.

Ginnungagap is also called "The Yawning Void". Maybe the concept of "Helheim", where Mother Goddess Hel watches over the souls of those who did not die in battle, until their reincarnation, would be a close parallel. The World Tree Yggdrasil has been likened to a spiritual metaphor for DNA, with generations branching out and recombining as Life grows. I'm just speculating from curiosity, not trying to absorb you into Norse Heathenism! There do appear to be some connections, though. Given the area that Maker concepts arose from I would be surprised if there were no contact points.

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It has been silent on this forum, but since I saw this let me just comment what I know,

Now that there is internet... and so many forums, there are many speculations of metaphors, and some of them might of course be right.

But for my understanding, Ginnungagap is meaning of primal chaos, where opposing energies or worlds, duality, collision, of polar energies - Niflheim and Muspelheim, fire and ice. Maybe that george R.R martin guy named his books after this (haven't watched or read the series) "songs of fire and ice".

Listen to the song "Danheim & Gealdýr - Ymir" for tale of creation of worlds, for more poetic explanation. 

Soul in nordic cosmology usually is 3-parted, one of these parts is Fylgja which is nordic equivalent of power animal, Rudolf Siimek's book "dictionary of Norse mythology" is great for looking up these terms, but I'm too lazy to fetch it from the casket right now. Only very few people would go to Valhalla, there could have been numerous destinations I suppose, along with reincarnation, but Helheim sure would be more common than Valhalla, which in my understanding is not even a world, but a hall of elite warriors who kill each other every night, and eat Särimner's respawning meat every day.

So basically its killing and diet of pork everyday, not idealistic for everyone, but I assume it would be exageration.

I think we are already immortal, there is just different ways of being, being immortal as a biological human sure would be extreme comparing the average life span of what, 70 years? to unlimited time, but maybe that is wholly another subject and something that cannot be discussed in internet forums. I think keeping the threads intact is cool... but not everyone does, the Indian/ Himalayan religions seem to be fond of dissolving, where as the near-eastern religions are about keeping intact, and pagans are usually something in-between, isn't it weird? this multitude of religious ideals.

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Absolutely, the Ancestors saw most people going to Helheim at death, Valholl being the state of being of those who had overcome their human lower natures and selected to assist the Gods in restructuring the World after the Ragnarok. There were numerous Gods and Goddesses that would care for their devotees after death. 

I am in no way trying to downplay Maker cosmology, only establishing mutual compatibility. There is no Norse dogma or holy books, it's all experiential.

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Posted (edited)

 

Well... I have no clue what to say, where have you read that about Valhalla ? The only thing I'm "worried" here is that a lot of people will see Valhalla / Valhöll as some sort of ideal, in all my understanding there is no ideals in the old ways, in a way it's very "selfish" religion, it's actually not religion at all, so in that way the rest of what you said rings true, it's all experiential.

 

But if we are using these terms, then citing some source would be vital, at least in public discussion, we can all have our personal experiences of course.

I also suggest lookin up Slavic folk religion, they have very similar gods to Thor, Loki, and Odin, Perun being obviously like Thor, but Veles might seem more like mixture of Odin and Loki, there is some eastern influence in those religions, it seems - but the positive side is that it's less "tainted" by popular culture, at least I ought to think so, but it's also harder to find information, and I don't claim expertise. What I'm suggesting that comparing different European folk tales/religions might be to your liking.

* I want to add that I don't think it's any use to think "Vikings" were saints, I'm not saying that you are claiming this either,  also us Finns aren't really Scandinavians, but I'm sure a lot of beliefs were adopted, but more "dark and mixed" around here, this is symbolic Jotunheim, and land of the witches. people have just forgotten that. But it is true that even catholic church once condemned us.

But for example instead of Wotan, the bear was revered here as ancestor god, also a lot of folk religion is basically what is called black magic nowadays  :-D.

 but it could be said that Kalevala's Väinämöinen has resemblance to Odin/Wotan, and Lönrott's Kalevala was inspired by old folk tales, this however is something that I have to look into later myself, I just recently discovered the idea of this comparison.

 

** I also I'm not sure where have you got this concept of lower nature ETC, Norse heathenry is basically based on tales of gods, and people, they all act differently - this is what I'm trying to say, there is no ideal, there is no savior it is symbolized in the tale where Jörmungandr and Aesir Thor kill each other, as if ouroboros was biting its own tail. In that sense it's easy to see why it's not popular as religion, it's very individualistic, there is no great common goal. Modern churches can of course make such goals, but I'm just saying, that it's lacking any proof for me that there would have been such originally.

Perhaps druidism or something like that would be more in line with "self improvement" of some sorts, but even that is very unknown to us today, and is surely consisting of wide variety of different traditions considering that it took about 20 years to become one.

 

Valhöll was a thing of mercenaries, but it was not particularly sacrifice for greater good, religion, or nation they would do, look up Jomsvikings it is said they would even fight for Christian lords if they were compensated, even if Jomsvikings were strictly pagan. Then look up the Varangian guard, you see where I'm going here, those were simpler times in some sense, people were not as much looking relief of moksha or nirvana.

 

I could go on and on, but maybe I wait for reply now, heheh. I'm not mocking ancient europeans either, on the contrary, i'm just trying to be realistic. The scandic religion, only exist as recognized religion in Iceland and Denmark I think, but I don't know if they claim to be the "original" stuff either.

Edited by FinWanderer
Corrected deity's name I misplaced.
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Actually I just add my suspicions here so I get this out of my mind, 

To be honest,

Seems to me that you are following some sort of new-gnostic sect of Norse paganism, which I’m neither condemning or recommending, I’m just telling you that there is no such noble eightfold path in something called “Norse paganism” which is very broad term.

Catholics could say, that I’m a grievous sin against the virtue of religion, that would be correct.

You don’t have to believe me, just research, from sources that have citations preferably. 

Even then you don’t find the answers, but you can come up with them yourself. It’s paganism, there is no common goal, that’s the whole reason why rulers can’t use it as a tool to run nations. Its not noble, it’s not evil either, it is real, it is dark, it is light.

You can adopt virtues if you want, but those are just personal values, and maybe your pacts with some deities. In paganism, as in nature, there are no virtues, only survival remains, only twilight between life and death. 

I think a lot of people who think are following “Norse paganism” are following revamp of some other religion, described and associated with Norse deities, this is why I wanted to rant. Study broadly and you’ll recognize what you are dealing with.

SO, REGARDING THE TOPIC, there is not IDEAL, afterlife in "Norse mythology/religion" as there is no religion (Except nowadays recognized in Iceland and Denmark, you can ask them what do they think). Whatever groups there are in USA, there are too many for me to study and comment.

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23 hours ago, Rodulf said:

Ginnungagap is also called "The Yawning Void". Maybe the concept of "Helheim", where Mother Goddess Hel watches over the souls of those who did not die in battle, until their reincarnation, would be a close parallel. The World Tree Yggdrasil has been likened to a spiritual metaphor for DNA, with generations branching out and recombining as Life grows. I'm just speculating from curiosity, not trying to absorb you into Norse Heathenism! There do appear to be some connections, though. Given the area that Maker concepts arose from I would be surprised if there were no contact points.

I checked with Gary (Niteshad), creator of this site and the direct connection through familial lines to the maker tradition. The tradition, until Gary created this site, has been kept under the radar and passed down only through family members. He said that he doesn't think there is a connection to Norse Heathenism but he never really looked that deeply into the origins of the tradition. He said it never really mattered to him, we live now and not in the past. However, I do understand the interest, context can be revealing and helpful at times. It may have been part of the beginning of the tradition but what the tradition evolved into is mostly a result of the pressure of inquisitions and pressure to eliminate the old ways by the church. 

10 hours ago, Rodulf said:

I am in no way trying to downplay Maker cosmology, only establishing mutual compatibility. There is no Norse dogma or holy books, it's all experiential.

No offense taken. There is no dogma or holy books for Makers either. It's a formerly oral tradition and the history is written in the energy of the words. As you learn the tradition, more and more unfolds for you, it's really quite an ingenious way to preserve knowledge, in my opinion - no books needed and more information than could ever be contained on pages is there to be tapped into if you know how to look for it. I might go looking for a Norse connection and see what there is but I don't think origins mattered much to the old makers either. And... the makers are shamans, if you look at how we work, it's not a religion with gods. They have never called themselves shamans, only "Makers," but if you look at what is taught and what we do, it fits with shamanism best. I have gotten to just calling us Makers as there are so many preconceptions about what a shaman is. 

 

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Now that I have calmed down, I just want to say

 I did make some exaggerations to make a stance, of course good manners and moderations are valued by Aesir for example, if you are reading havamal you can see this is so, they are not the only deities in such broad term as “Norse paganism” thought, and even they are partly devourers (Jotun).

What I just meant that there hardly is any “Norse paganism” that can be legitimately recognized, and said to have certain common “noble” goal, society was in my knowledge very different back then.

Thor told me when I "hallucinated" him speaking in sleep paralysis years ago, that if I invite A guest I should have something to offer, so I have to admit that some gods themselves might value some good manners, or then they are just demanding.

https://mythus.fandom.com/wiki/Jötunn there is also deities family tree in that link.

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My interest in the origins of Maker traditions is historical curiosity. I enjoy investigating history and mythology and Makers are kind of a mystery. I understand that you want to live its tenets and don't care about the early origin. All organic shamanic traditions will have similar elements because all are journeying to the same Other World using different vehicles.

Was there a persecution of Makers during the Dark Ages?

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4 hours ago, Rodulf said:

Was there a persecution of Makers during the Dark Ages?

Yes. That was a major turning point in the tradition. Up until the persecution, the Makers were similar to other traditions at that time; they had ceremonies and tools and weren't hidden. But in order to survive persecution, they realized they needed to drastically alter how the tradition was practiced, they recognized that they needed to find a way to operate without drawing attention to themselves. So, they collaborated and worked to find a new way of working. They eliminated anything that could identify them as shamans and to do that, they learned how to work with energy at its most basic level, before it became something. So they looked at what energy was working in the tools they used, the ceremonies they performed and found where the energy behind it all was and learned how to connect with it without using any tools or having to utter certain words or perform certain movements out of necessity.  In addition, they also decided to only pass the knowledge down through family lines for added security. Through these alterations to their practices,  they lived lives as farmers, teachers, priests, etc. -really anything - and yet continued to work as shamans. They worked through using Voice, through moving energy directly and through tapping into their connection to the elements among many other things. They worked through all the usual energies but it was couched as teaching or preaching or maybe being an herbal healer, whatever it was safe to be existing in society. And it's been that way until Gary decided it was time to come out of the background and be Makers in the world again. 

 

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Very interesting. I wonder how many other traditions were hidden and maybe not out in the open, even now. The old Norse Heathenism actually hid inside the early Christian churches, as can be seen in the carvings and art that adorned them. There is a group called "The Odin Brotherhood" that claims to have existed since Medieval times and recently surfaced.

Enjoying our conversation! Thank you, guys.

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