Review: Lady of the Northern Light: A Feminist Guide to the Runes

Do I have to review this book?

Really?

Well, I guess I don’t have to, because this is my blog and I do what I want on my blog.

*sighs* The things I do for you people.

Seriously, this book gave me such a headache, I don’t know where to begin. Let me just sum up what I would have learned from this book if I hadn’t known any better:

  • Marija Gimbutas’ work is still totally relevant to modern scholarship
  • There was once a single Great Goddess who was split into smaller goddesses by The Patriarchy
  • Nerthus was originally the head of the pantheon
  • Sif is an aspect of Freyja
  • Skadi was originally part of a triple goddess deal with Freyja and Sif (she’s the Death Goddess)
  • Othala is the fish rune because it looks like a fish (personally, I always thought it looked like a fish)
  • Freyr had a consort (or mother) named Ingrun who is the inspiration for the Ingwaz rune
  • Freyja’s priestesses sacrificed Swedish kings (as stand-ins for Freyr) while wearing horse masks (This image will show up in my dreams tonight, I know it).
  • They also engaged in sexual rites in her temple at Uppsala
  • Odin is apparently a triple-god (I forget who his other aspects are supposed to be)
  • Odin’s ravens used to belong to Frigg
  • Actually, everything that’s Odin’s belongs to either Frigg, Freya, or Nerthus, because Odin is a god of The Patriarchy who stole everything from the Great Goddess, because The Patriarchy has no original ideas

And that’s just the stuff I remember.

Okay, everyone, seriously now. I’m a feminist, I believe some crazy things. I believe in some things that aren’t exactly lore-based, and that’s okay, I am a modern person, living in 2013, I don’t live in the 10th century. I’m not too concerned with doing things exactly as my ancestors did them. I think some of the views my ancestors had are archaic at best and trash at worse (yes, I said trash). BTW, their art is some of the ugliest I’ve ever seen. Seriously, look at this:

And while I’m ranting THE SAGAS ARE FUCKING BORING! They’re just people doing people things, and that’s boring, at least in the myths, you have gods changing into horses and balls being tied to goats.

….And I still don’t buy this bullshit.

There are certain people who treat the word “feminist” as if it’s a dirty word, and that’s due to a lot of things, but books like these don’t help, at all. It’s possible to critique the kyriarchy and all the various -isms and unchecked privilege which runs rampant among “mainstream” Heathenry (for fuck’s sake, people, just ’cause you have women in your kindred doesn’t mean you’re magically immune to sexism)  without relying on outdated research and jumping to wild conclusions. Hel, I do it all the time.

So, to repeat myself:

I AM A FEMINIST AND I DON’T BUY THIS BULLSHIT!

Can I stop talking about this book now? Seriously, I don’t want to talk about it. If you’re looking for a better book on runes with more attention paid to the goddesses, check out Freya Aswynn’s Northern Mysteries and Magic: Runes and Feminine Powers, just mind the weird Folkish-ish statements about Chinese people and such. Or, I don’t know, I’m not an expert on runes, not my thing. I’m more of an expert on goddess-worshiping feminist bullshit.

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One thought on “Review: Lady of the Northern Light: A Feminist Guide to the Runes

  1. Thank you! I am a feminist, raised by feminists, and I agree this is bullshit. Women too interested in blaming everything on men do women no good…it is infantile.

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