Title: A Practical Heathen's Guide to Asatru
Author: Patricia M Lafayllve
Pub. Date: November 8th 2013
Source: Netgalley and Llewellyn Publications
A few months back, I read a fictional book in which one of the characters practices the pagan religion of Asatru. I had never heard of it before, but was intrigued when he mentioned that he wore Mjolnir -the hammer of Thor- on a pendant on his neck. I was super excited to see this title, because I was eager to learn more about it.
This is a handy guide of what gods and goddesses are affiliated with this particular branch of paganism. Each is mentioned and explained in detail, and their mythologies are given. I learned a lot, since my own knowledge of Norse gods pretty much only involved Loki and Thor.
This useful book also has instructions and guidance for how to set up prayers and ceremonies, and offers a pronunciation guide for those hard-to-pronounce names and words used in Norse and Icelandic worship. It's well rounded, offering a sampling of knowledge on various aspects of the religion.
While I did learn a lot about Asatru, I feel like this is a title I'd have to read more than once to fully comprehend. It was a slow read for me, because I was so completely unfamiliar with terminology and concepts, I had a bit of a hard time sorting things out.
This is a good book for those who already have an understanding about Asatru, or for those who are looking to learn more about the deities of Norse origins. But if you're new to it like I was, brace yourself. There's a lot of new information packed into this book, and it can be intimidating and difficult to get through.
Thanks to Netgalley and Llewellyn for my copy.