Landvættir in America

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Landvættir in America

Postprzez KozioU » poniedziałek, 13 sierpnia 2012, 23:20

bil napisał(a):Throw it at me.


OK Bil, here's first. May sound a little stupid, but I always wondered how do you - american heathens - see landvættir? Do you see them and address them like our ancestors from northern Europe, as alfar, svartalfar, nisser, landdísir and so on? Or do you believe that they are different in America, perhaps more like native Americans see them? If we - as polytheists - believe that different lands have different gods could it also be that way with land spirits?

I ask that because when I'm far from home I always blot local land-spirits to honour them and ask for safe passage on their land and I see them more like local tales depict them, sometimes very different from our landwights (like celtic sídhe or fae, finnsh peikko and so on). What's your opinion on that?
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Re: Landvættir in America

Postprzez bil » wtorek, 14 sierpnia 2012, 12:20

von KozioU geschrieben:
OK Bil, here's first. May sound a little stupid, but I always wondered how do you - american heathens - see landvættir? Do you see them and address them like our ancestors from northern Europe, as alfar, svartalfar, nisser, landdísir and so on? Or do you believe that they are different in America, perhaps more like native Americans see them? If we - as polytheists - believe that different lands have different gods could it also be that way with land spirits?


Interesting question. I say that because we don't see them, wights, as NAs do or as Europeans; we see them as Americans. We tend not to classify (elves, dwarves, etc.) and just consider them 'wights' (ModG = Wichte) who live in or rule over specific regions. In a manner similar to NAs, we leave offerings of tobacco but I think that is because most of us use tobacco to a large degree.

We do differentiate between wights and ancestors/ ancestral ghosts and don't really have any sense that 'elves,' for example, might be ancestral; we've only been here for ca. 350 yrs. The wights here are indigenous to the regions they live in (mountains, valleys, rivers, springs, etc.) and consequently we see them as being very different than, say, those in Germany. Here, they have a distinctly American 'feel' about them whereas those I've offered to in Germany or Switzerland feel to me to be non-American wights: important but 'not like those at home.'

Where I live now, in the Rockies, and where I grew up, in Michigan, there is far more undeveloped wilderness (like northeastern Norway) and so the wights have not had as much interaction with humans -- they come off as being 'wilder' than those that I've offered to in Europe.

von KozioU geschrieben:
I ask that because when I'm far from home I always blot local land-spirits to honour them and ask for safe passage on their land and I see them more like local tales depict them, sometimes very different from our landwights (like celtic sídhe or fae, finnsh peikko and so on). What's your opinion on that?


The whole concept became very important to me once I started traveling to different places. I accept that they are different in different places and that they all have differing relationships with the land/ community than those I'm accustomed to in the USA. Even though that is the case, I still approach 'foreign wights' as 'an American traveling' pretty much the same as when I approach people in a different country. I still bid for safe passage or bid simply 'hallo' and let them know I'm American and as such am ignorant of local custom. My purpose being that if I present myself honestly and with respect, I'm less likely to get in trouble when I do something stupid. :D Playing the 'honesty and respect' card goes a long way and has kept me out of a lot of trouble over the yrs. OTOH, pretending to be a local would have a negative effect when dealing with wights both human and non-human.

Case in point: I grew up as German-American in a Polish and German community (in those days the USA was still divided into strict ethnic enclaves). We considered ourselves Polacks and Krauts rather than Polish and German, and the terms were just normal for what we called ourselves. In those days, my town was ca 70% Polish and 30% German with a lot of mixing going on, and we tended to call each other traditionally by our last names instead of the first name. All through school, I was addressed as Linzinski (my last name is Linzie), a sign of being acceptable to both sides of the community, a name of endearment. When speaking in Germany, not knowing the local custom, I used the term Polack which apparently has bad connotations :-? . I had to play the 'honesty and respect' card along with the 'stupid American' card. Honesty and respect pays off. BTW, I'm still addressed as Linzinski even after 40 yrs. :D

Just my thoughts,
lewwe woohl un faahr mit de Gedder,
bil ausme NM
lewwe woohl un fahr mit de Gedder,
bil
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Re: Landvættir in America

Postprzez Leśna » wtorek, 14 sierpnia 2012, 13:05

I'd like to ask a question considering Landvaettir in general. Let's say that someone had lived in one place for many years and became very cloce with local Landvaettir. Then moved to some other place, far away from former one. Is it possible to invite some of the spirits from your old home to move and live on a diffrent land?
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Re: Landvættir in America

Postprzez bil » wtorek, 14 sierpnia 2012, 14:14

von Leśna geschrieben:
I'd like to ask a question considering Landvaettir in general. Let's say that someone had lived in one place for many years and became very cloce with local Landvaettir. Then moved to some other place, far away from former one. Is it possible to invite some of the spirits from your old home to move and live on a diffrent land?


This is my understanding (taken from Scandinavian Folk Belief and Legend http://www.amazon.com/Scandinavian-Beli ... gends+folk). There is a difference between land-wights and house-wights. House-wights are attached to a family whereas land-wights are attached to a geographical region. (It's a good book BTW.)

Since I've been here in NE NMex, I've had a house-guest (wight). I've moved 6x and the wight has always come along. We made provisions for him, given him plenty of fore-warning before moving, and he seems to adapt well. He still swipes things periodically. We provide him with a bit of good coffee, tobacco, whiskey, or porridge with a dab of butter and he returns things. A friend slept over one time and dreamt of him -- she said he was ugly with nasty looking teeth. He's been with the family over 27 yrs.

Moving to a different land is something that I wouldn't know about, but my guess is that like the family, the wight adapts. He is, after all, family.

Landwights are different. Like people, they live in regions. When I go back to a place, I see them like any old friend, but I have to learn new friends in new places -- human or not. Just because I choose to move doesn't necessarily mean my 'local friends' will move with me. House-wights will move because they are part of the family; land-wights, human or not, belong to a region.

Just my opinions,
lewwe woohl un faahr mit de Gedder,
bil
lewwe woohl un fahr mit de Gedder,
bil
bil
 
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Re: Landvættir in America

Postprzez Leśna » wtorek, 14 sierpnia 2012, 14:21

Clear explanation, thank you @]:D
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Re: Landvættir in America

Postprzez KozioU » wtorek, 14 sierpnia 2012, 14:27

Thank you for vast answer Linzinski ]:D We seem to agree much on those things.
I'm just back home after a week on US's east coast (Philadelphia and north Delaware) so the question was about something I recently experienced myself.
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Re: Landvættir in America

Postprzez Vrede » środa, 15 sierpnia 2012, 08:35

Heh, I almost felt like reading a (non-existent) Neil Gaiman's book "American Wights" :>

A little digression: do You feel any difference in connection with Gods, when You're in Europe and when You're in US? Or do You think that it is a little bit like in Gaimans's fantasy books - for example Odin in US is alternative, different than islandic Odin?

I'm asking becouse I have my theory (tested in Europe only) that there are still the same Gods, no differnece in connection but maybe in communication.
Imagine cell phones and their range. It's always easier to reach someone who is closer to You.

OffTopic!
Of course we can contrive:
When you have crappy mobile - you have problem in reaching someone who is not near to You. If you have a good mobile - you can have great connection even if someone is far away from You.
Nevertheless... when You just speak to someone (without any devices), You'll be heard better by someone who is near (and have a good ear).

And of course who said that Gods live in Scandinavia? They are in Asgard and Vanahaim, aren't they? So there shouldn't be any differences... But somehow I feel that they are. Maybe it's just my imagination, or maybe there are more "transmitters" in Scandinavia (going back to the analogy on mobiles).
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Re: Landvættir in America

Postprzez bil » środa, 15 sierpnia 2012, 15:42

Vrede napisał(a):
I'm asking becouse I have my theory (tested in Europe only) that there are still the same Gods, no differnece in connection but maybe in communication.
Imagine cell phones and their range. It's always easier to reach someone who is closer to You.


This is a question that comes up fairly often on another group that I moderate.

For me, the answer is complex.

I'm one who is inclined to think of Þór as different from Dunner or Donar. Not that they are different beings necessarily but that in each place the relationship between family, land, and community is different. My relationship is that of a New Mexico heathen and as such our concerns here in this area of the world are far different than the concerns of meinen Stammtischgebrüdern in Hamburg. Mentally, NM heathens see the regin differently (a lot of flannel shirts and blue jeans are involved when we picture them :D ) Dunner, Frick and Wodan of NM address specifically the needs of New Mexico's communities.

The easiest analogy that I can think of is Günne's niece who is a nurse (Krankenschwester). Mentally as well as by training she is thoroughly a nurse. Were she to come to the USA, she would be a nurse from Germany except that she could not be regarded as a nurse here in the USA; she would simply be just another person.

Heathenry, for me, is not plug-and-play or modular like Christianity. For me, it is an ethnic folkway where the relationship between family, land, community and regin are inextricably bound together --- they cannot be separated. It doesn't mean that I am uncomfortable at a blót in Germany or Denmark; it just means that when it's my turn to raise the horn to Donar, I'm really raising to Dunner of NM and I address our NM heathen concerns and think kindly of my home in the high desert of the Rocky Mountains.

Whether the actual being of the god is the same or not, in my thinking, is not provable nor is it necessary. Shifting from the common modern thinking of 'Jesus is the same the world over' to the idea that the relationship within an ethnic folkway encompasses family, land, community and rulers and that the parts really can't be separated out and simply moved as pieces and 'plugged in' in some other place.

Complex, but I prefer the ethnic folkway over religion/ faith.

Just my thoughts,
lewwe woohl un faahr mit de Gedder,
bil ausme NM
lewwe woohl un fahr mit de Gedder,
bil
bil
 
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Re: Landvættir in America

Postprzez Leśna » środa, 15 sierpnia 2012, 21:58

In my opinion it would be hard to see Gods that way.
First – there is no heathen communities in Poland, attached to a certain area and heritage; we are usually alone and have non-heathen families, so we often have to travel long way to meet other heathens and worship together (it doesn't mean that we are not Asatru when we are alone).
Thus second – if every one of us would see Thor as a different god – would there be a point in meeting? I don't know much about Christianity and it's point of view and I wouldn't refer to that in my way of seeing the world. But when comes to honoring Thor – or any other god – I connect with Him/Them on my personal ground of thinking, but I believe that it's pretty much the same Thor that this heathen from far away standing next to me is saying “hail” to.
]:)
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Re: Landvættir in America

Postprzez bil » czwartek, 16 sierpnia 2012, 19:07

Leśna hot gschriwwe:
In my opinion it would be hard to see Gods that way.
First – there is no heathen communities in Poland, attached to a certain area and heritage; we are usually alone and have non-heathen families, so we often have to travel long way to meet other heathens and worship together (it doesn't mean that we are not Asatru when we are alone).


Understood. However, when one views heathenry as an ethnic folkway, in other words, a way to conduct one's life, any community becomes 'heathen' even if I am the only heathen here. Heathenry, as a way to conduct one's life, plays out on the stage of the community --- it exists whenever I interact with anyone, when I drive my car, when I feed the animals, or when I give a handout to a bum.

For a long time, till maybe 2006, most heathens here thought that 'heathenry existed only during a blot, for example, or when we participated in an email forum. This type of thinking is common to many Christians ('Sunday Christians') who often act very unChristian-like during the rest of the week. In looking at other ethnic folkways, we discovered that while Christians tend to behave in such a manner, Navajos, Lakota, Voudouns, Macumba, and other ethnic folkways tended to interact with the world through their own traditions. So, for us 'community' does not mean a 'heathen community' but rather a geographical one. I am responsible for bringing heathen behavior and the respect for the regin to this place.

Leśna hot gschriwwe:
Thus second – if every one of us would see Thor as a different god – would there be a point in meeting? I don't know much about Christianity and it's point of view and I wouldn't refer to that in my way of seeing the world. But when comes to honoring Thor – or any other god – I connect with Him/Them on my personal ground of thinking, but I believe that it's pretty much the same Thor that this heathen from far away standing next to me is saying “hail” to.
]:)


The kindred for us is made up of a group of like-minded folks who have the same or similar goals, wishes and concerns regarding our families and community. Because we are like minded, our relationships to the regin are also similar. However, when I go to New England, Florida, or California, we are not like-minded because their goals, wishes and concerns regarding [/]their[/i] families and community are very different from ours -- we do not see the regin in their manner. When we go to places like that, we (from NMex) see the regin as we know them.

The point of the meeting is to honor the regin whether we are at home or guests in a foreign land. When I leave an offering in Germany to the land wights of Germany or Denmark or Switzerland, I do so as a NMex heathen (leaving tobacco mostly) which is my ethnic folkway. The purpose of the blot or offering does not change --- the only thing that is different is how each community perceives the regin.

Hope that clarified my stance somewhat,
lewwe woohl un faahr mit de Gedder,
bil
lewwe woohl un fahr mit de Gedder,
bil
bil
 
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Dołączył(a): niedziela, 12 sierpnia 2012, 15:54
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