Category Archives: Posts by Asfridr

Krampusnacht

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WHO IN HELL IS KRAMPUS? (info from krampus.com)

Krampus is the dark companion of St. Nicholas, the traditional European winter gift-bringer who rewards good children each year on December 6. The kindly old Saint leaves the task of punishing bad children to a hell-bound counterpart known by many names across the continent — Knecht Ruprecht, Certa, Perchten, Black Peter, Schmutzli, Pelznickel, Klaubauf, and Krampus. Usually seen as a classic devil with horns, cloven hooves and monstrous tongue, but can also be spotted as a sinister gentleman dressed in black or a hairy man-beast. Krampus punishes the naughty children, swatting them with switches and rusty chains before dragging them in baskets to a fiery place below.

KRAMPUSNACHT (NIGHT OF KRAMPUS)

Krampus is celebrated on Krampusnacht, which takes place on the eve of St. Nicholas’ Day. In Austria, Northern Italy and other parts of Europe, party-goers masquerade as devils, wild-men, and witches to participate in Krampuslauf (Krampus Run). Intoxicated and bearing torches, costumed devils caper and carouse through the streets terrifying child and adult alike. Krampusnacht is increasingly being celebrated in other parts of Europe such as Finland and France, as well as in many American cities.

KRAMPUS’S ANCIENT ORIGINS

The European practice of mummery during the winter solstice season can be traced back tens of thousands of years. Villagers across the continent dress up as animals, wild-men and mythic figures to parade and perform humorous plays. This ancient guising and masking tradition continues to this day as the primary source for our modern Halloween with its costumes, trick-or-treat, and pagan symbolism. Among the most common figures in these folk rituals were Old Man Winter and the horned Goat-Man — archetypes now found in the forms of Saint Nick/Santa Claus, and the Devil (‘Old Nick’), aka Krampus.

SANTA THE PUNISHER?

In 19th century New York City an American St. Nick emerged in the form of Santa Claus. Although based on the Dutch Saint Nicholas, Santa incorporated more elements from pagan winter solstice customs. He relinquished his white bishop garb for a red suit, traded his horse and staff for a sleigh and reindeer, and moved his franchise to Christmas Eve.
Santa also tried to take over the dark companion’s job of punishing the naughty, but his New World temperament was apparently unsuited for the task. As Santa neglected and abandoned his punishing duties, American kids lost all fear of Santa and his lumps of coal. Thankfully, in the 21st century, Krampus has arrived in this land of spoiled and dissatisfied children to pick up the slack.

KRAMPUS CARDS

While Santa Claus expanded shop and sold products in mid-1800s America, the holiday card craze exploded in Europe.In Austria and other parts of Europe, countless season’s greeting cards featured Krampus, often emblazoned with the phrase “Grüß Vom Krampus” (Greetings from Krampus). While the lurid images are suffused with a modern sense of the comic and the surreal, they still resonant with mythic power and primordial horror. And with Krampus representing the naughty side of the season, the sexy subtext is hard to ignore in these often very cheeky cards. A century later, the brilliance of these magnificent works of pop art is now gaining global recognition.

KRAMPUS IN AMERICA

BLAB! Magazine curator Monte Beauchamp reintroduced Krampus cards to America nearly a century after their heyday. His art books are the definitive works showcasing Krampus and other Devil-inspired greeting cards. A collector’s market for Krampus cards has grown as the figure of Krampus pops up across the cultural landscape. Krampus has been featured on Adult Swim’s The Venture Bros and the CW’s Supernatural; in 2009, Krampus visited the The Colbert Report and had Stephen shaking in his Brooks Brothers’ suit. Over the last decade, Krampusnacht celebrations have sprouted up in U.S. cities such as Portland and San Francisco.

A NEW SPIRIT OF XMAS?

The hunger for a darker Xmas holiday has made the evil Santa Claus character a staple of pop culture, as seen in movies such as Rare Exports, The Nightmare Before Christmas, books such as Dean Koontz’s Santa’s Twin and many others. A resurgence of Saturnalian rituals and animistic practices during the winter season is evident in Santarchy, a flash-mob phenomenon started in 1994 on America’s west coast now enacted in many countries including Korea, Norway and Ireland. On selected days in early December, large crowds of costumed Santa Clauses descend en masse on public squares and shopping centers to confound, amuse and frighten spectators.
A new appreciation of ancient traditions that smoulder in the dark recesses of holiday revelry continues to rise around the world. Krampus, with his horns, hoove and tongue, embodies this revived spirit of the Xmas season!

KRAMPUS THROUGH THE AGES

2000 BCEEnkidu appears in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the earliest known appearance of a ‘Wild Man’ in literature.

600 BCE In the book of Daniel in the Old Testament, King Nebuchadnezzar is punished by God for his pride when he is turned into a hairy beast.

217 BCE Saturnalia is introduced as a winter celebration in Rome, marked by gift giving, wild parties, and a reversal of the normal social roles of slave and master.

4th Century CE Due to Roman influence, many Germanic tribes, such as the Goths and Vandals, convert to Christianity; their pagan traditions survive in small villages in the Alps where the Church cannot penetrate.

1250 CE King’s Mirror, a Norwegian text, features a Wild Man character who is described as being covered in hair.

17th Century CE ‘Knecht Rupert’ appears as a figure in a Nuremberg Christmas procession.

1810 CE The Brothers Grimm began publishing stories of Germanic folktales, marking a resurgence in Germanic pagan folklore.

Early 19th Century CE Holiday postcards from Austria, Germany, and other parts of Europe feature holiday greetings Krampus and other companions of St. Nicholas.

Early 19th Century CE Germanic and Dutch immigrants to the US popularize ‘Pelznickel’ traditions in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and as far west as Indiana.

2004 CE Blab! Magazine curator Monte Beauchamp publishes Devil In Design, a collection of vintage Krampus postcards from the turn of the 19th century. This book marks an increase in Krampus’ popularity in the English speaking world.

krampus~ Posted by Asfridr ~ All info from krampus.com

We’ve got a bunch of Krampus stuff in our Heathen Holiday section of our shop!  Click over to page 2 for Krampus ornaments, stockings, and playing cards!  and a couple books devoted to him are on page 1.

Also we have an entire album devoted to Krampus on our Facebook page.  Merry Fucking Christmas!

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Feast of the Einherjar

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By Ásfriðr Godardsdottir

Today is a day where we honor our fallen or Einherjar. Many of amazing people have sacrificed their all not only for this country, but our ancestors who were slain on the battlefields as well. This is where one of my many strong connections to Odin and the Einherjar come into play as I am a Veteran myself, seeing my friends come home and some who didn’t come home standing on their own two feet. Today we honor the slain warriors of past and present. For today I feel the Einherjar are especially training for the day Ragnarok comes, and when night falls they will feast and drink as much mead as the Valkyries can hand them. Honor our current generation of war fighter who have fallen and joined the ranks of the Einherjar. Today we honor the values the Einherjar abide by, courage, honor and duty.

HAIL THE EINHERJAR !
HAIL OUR GENERATIONS WAR FIGHTER!
HAIL THE ANCESTORS AND THE GODS!

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Heathenism in Main Stream Society

By Ásfridr Godardsdottir

Heathenism in main stream society is often miscued as a religion with racial ties. When indeed it is quite the opposite. Yeah there are those few shall I say who bastardized the old ways. Ignorance is not bliss. Be aware and open minded, you might learn a thing or two

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I myself find the biggest misconceived notion of Ásatrú is that it’s just a religion of what the “cool kids” are getting into. They to, like the Neo nazis will weed themselves out. My point may seem harsh, but I feel being called back to the old ways is just that, A Calling! A calling from our Ancestors to our true self. The mighty Tyr did not sacrifice his arm to the Fenrir wolf for no reason at all. He did it to bind the wolf until Ragnarok where the wolf will join the giants against the final battle of the gods

Heathenism here in America can be a very solitary thing unless you know other Heathens, which can be hard to find at times. I myself am self taught and and still learning everyday! I’ve been on my path for about 18 months. I’m an empath so I’m very “touched” with the gift of Spaë. My family doesn’t agree with my beliefs but as I always tell them, ” I wasn’t born to follow”!

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The Belief in the Old Ways in The United States Military

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The belief in the Old Ways in the United States Military

By Ásfriðr Godardsdottir

First I think the term Paganism should be defined.

n.
1. An adherent of a polytheistic religion in antiquity, especially when viewed in contrast to an adherent of a monotheistic religion.
2. A Neopagan.
3. Offensive
a. One who has no religion.
b. An adherent of a religion other than Judaism, Christianity, or Islam.

Now there are many branches of Paganism. It’s whatever you prefer to call yourself or what your beliefs are. Myself, I am a Heathen believing in Ásatrú which is the beliefs in the Norse-Germanic deities.

I was also a Veteran of the United States Army in a time that paganism of any form was not accepted. Upon my discharge from the Army , the Wiccan beliefs were just starting to become recognized by a very Christian military force. You were either deemed a satanist or atheist. Which in contrast is an oxy moron.
I personally did not find my path until I had been out 7 years (no time is right and no time is wrong).

Now I’m hearing that Paganism is becoming more accepted throughout all branches, which excites the hel out of me! In a Christian sense, Jesus taught religious tolerance for ALL religions. Let me say that it’s easy for me to put this together because I was a Catholic when I served. So me personally, I always have the counter response when asked questions. I think it would be amazing if the US Military introduced Pagan Chaplains in to accommodate ALL religions, not just those of accredited faiths by the Christian community.

I’ve taken accounts of a few service members who will be protected under the Stolen Valor act. I will not give names or ranks out. For our living heroes, it saddens me that no matter how many tours they’ve done or how many years they’ve done, they are still not accommodated in our faith. Sumbels in the Heathen/Ásatruar path are strongly prohibited but there’s ways around that while deployed. I believe ALL forms of paganism should be allowed to openly and freely practice. They’re all fighting for the same cause, why not let them pray to whatever god they choose?

One Marine told me he actually practiced more while he was deployed, stating that his subordinates would make sure he practiced before missions because they saw that it was working. Coincidence? I think not. Though not accomadated state side, I’m getting accounts of these brave men practicing on their own without fear or repercussions of practicing a non-Christian belief system. Heathens are often labeled Nazi’s because of the third riech bastardizing Ásatrú and just out of pure ignorance with a totally misconceived notion that not all, in fact, most Heathens are NOT racist in any way, shape or form. If the military were not so secular in their beliefs, I know a good amount of the boots on the ground would not be afraid to openly practice their faith and continue on their paths.

The Einherjar are those who have died in combat and rest in the Halls of Valhalla, preparing each day for the events of Ragnarok, then they rest each night feasting upon Sæhrímnir and having a plentiful supply of mead being passed to them by the Valkyries. I am of the belief that not just anyone gets to Valhalla (sorry to burst anyone’s bubble). Even then, half of the slain warriors go to The Goddess Freyjas hall, Sesrumnir. The Einherjar are our fallen ancestors, blood related or not. If it wasn’t for those who came before us, our personal paths now would be nothing but some “cool stories”

HAIL THE EINHERJAR!
HAIL ALL ACTIVE DUTY/RESERVE/NATIONAL GUARD!
HAIL THE GODS AND GODDESSES!

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