Skáldskapr: Appropriating verses embracing culture

Throughout the internet I see many posts about appropriating an ancestral culture, and regardless of the underpinnings of that culture, they attempt to make it their own. In some cases, they simply don’t want the ordinary, in other cases they don’t take the time to really learn the nuances of an individual culture. However, in many cases those individuals attempt to apply the culture of these older societies into the modern day world, with questionable results. Most will “play the role” on the weekends, by overwhelming social media outlets with images of their dress, and behaviors.


Recently I was asked as to the reality of obtaining balance between appropriation and embracing. Due to my own personal journey, I felt confidant about separating the two. Looking at this from a psychological, as well as a historical perspective gives us some insight as to the reality of this scenario. There remains a very fine line between what some might say is appropriating, versus embracing. In my own humble opinion, I believe there might be a third option, living.

My ancestral culture goes back to the 1400s in northern Denmark, where my research is currently stalled, but my assumption is that it goes much further. Maybe to the days when the Danes were the north’s super-power. At first, as I researched my ancestry, I began to appropriate the culture by using the “we Danish” even though I have never been to the shores of any of the Scandinavian countries. I began to cheer for the Danish soccer team, and incorporated Norse jewelry into my collection. I sought out all things that referenced either Denmark, or Germany (particularly the Germanic tribes). Was this appropriation, or embracing?

I believe as I internalized more about the Germanic-Danes who first settled in (what is now) Denmark, I began to have feelings about the misuse of the culture, and felt more compelled to educate the unknowing in the actual truth of the culture. I believe that this was really where the transition happened between appropriation and embracing. The national pride began to feel more comfortable, and a greater need to defend the honor of that heritage stirred heavily in my soul.

By now I was reading everything I could get my hands on, and although I won’t divulge too much information here, suffice to say I received divine guidance from Ódinn regarding what was factual, and what was the Christian church attempting to fabricate their own reality. This began to put pieces into place that offered a different view on what these two countries have evolved into. I believe in my heart that this is where I evolved embracing into just being. Living my life as a modern-day Dane living in the US.

Living Forn Sidr in modern times is a paradigm contradiction at the very least, yet here I am. I have journeyed beyond what’s seeable with the human eye, traveled to distant realms, and have drank Ó∂rerir and now see the modern world through ancient eyes. I have studied the ancient texts, and communicated through dreams and visions to the other realms to achieve my Úlfhe∂nar status. To enlighten you, the Úlfhe∂nar were the special forces of their day. Although not in the way our Marine Raiders are today, Úlfhe∂nar fought both on the physical plane (very similar to the Berserkir), and the spiritual plane, having the ability to draw upon the mystics to cross over the BiFrost to another realm, returning with the knowledge and wisdom from that realm.

The reality is that I have studied and come to terms with the Landvættir or land spirits who can assist me in understanding all things. By being willing and able to listen to my most inner still voice, I can interpret that which they send to form action steps to move forward. Obtaining balance within my life. So, I’ve moved beyond living it, it is now living within me.

I have been touched within the recesses of the mind that I’ve never known, seen answers to questions I’ve never had, felt feelings for things I’ve never cared for. The wisdom is comforting, like a fatherly figure sitting next to a warm fire explaining wisdom to a child, I’m learning at a rate I’ve never known I could. I fell as one with the Landvættir, they nudge me in directions I personally haven’t chose to go before.

I personally feel that the greatest gift I have been given is the calmness. No more fear of the unknown. No more fear of my afterlife. No fear of mortal men, or immortal beings. None. It is a peace. No more inner conflict as to what my value is in this world. True inner peace. Although I studied the Zen, and other meditation theologies, I always had a paradigm separation within my soul that left one side or the other empty. That is gone. Replaced by an ease, or comfort of my soul. My inner conflict now gone.

In many of my psychological studies, I reviewed many different studies on subjects who became programmed by the constant, repeated voices and motion surrounding our modern day lives. Almost as if many subjects needed to have the “white noise” in our lives, in almost a necessity to feel connected. That is gone for me now. Replaced by the cool embrace of the mountains, with the scent of a beautiful, calm mountain lake. The quiet so powerful you can hear a bubbling brook on the other side of the lake emptying into the otherwise still water. This might frighten some people given the hustle and bustle of everyday life, however, we should frequently take breaks away from the noise. Clear our minds.

It is the same power one is inherited when meditating. But, knowing how to properly meditate is crucial to its effectiveness. To this point, I’d like to take you on a journey. A journey into your own mind. Find yourself some quiet space, you’ll need about thirty minutes to complete this exercise. Sometimes a walk on a trail will do. If you must have a cell phone, turn it to silent and do not disturb. The best way is to find somewhere that you can sit comfortably. Sit comfortably. Close your eyes.

With your eyes closed I want you to picture a mountain lake. Surrounding the lake on all sides are medium sized fir trees, small birch trees interspersed with spruce trees. The water of the lake is like a mirror of the sky and mountain range in the distance. It is still. A slight breeze gently brushes your face from your left. Gently caressing the trees and tall grass swaying them ever so slightly. The air smells clean, just a hint of spruce and wet dirt. The silence are deafening, broken periodically by the call of the Eagle within the taller trees.

For the next thirty minutes we are going to focus all our energies on maintaining that vision. Letting our shoulders slump down, and feeling the weight of our extremities making contact with Midgard. If our mind tries to think of the events of our normal day, stay focused on the lake. Our mind will try and trick us into thinking about the time we’re spending doing this as being taken away from something else. It will struggle, especially when you first start doing this. You will soon realize the power and begin to lift the Seoir that monotheism has bestowed upon the world.


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