Review: Krasskova’s Northern Tradition

I was honored to have been asked by New Page Books to review some of their titles and they generously sent me their catalog and offered to send me any books that caught my interest. At the top of the list were two books penned by Galina Krasskova — Exploring the Northern Tradition and Northern Tradition for the Solitary Practitioner (written with Raven Kaldera).

I have had a lifelong passion for the Norse Gods, sparked by my reading of The Children of Odin by Padraic Colum and Willy Pogany when I was eight years old. It was at that tender age that I began to look beyond what I had been taught in Sunday School. The Christianity of my parents and grandparents never spoke to me on any level, but reading of these ancient gods, deities that my ancestors had worshiped before the forced and coerced conversion of these Northern Europeans many centuries ago, showed me a world that was was filled with excitement, adventure, and brutal nobility. Of course there were few books to be read on the subject. I read the Eddas and often bastardized and romanticized mythologies. I consumed Beowulf and  various translations of the Ring Cycle with fervor. And then there was the fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert E. Howard which captured the essence of the Northern Spirit and made it palpable to my young mind.

Was there something in the air? At the same time that I was questioning my Christian upbringing and looking to the Norse Pantheon that had been forcibly stripped from my forefathers, there was a modern movement underway, reconstructing Heathenry and a return to the Old Ways. Now, thirty some odd years later, there are more than forty thousand people that have returned to the Gods of the Northern European Folk.

Still, there have been painfully few books of quality written of this reawakening of the Northern Tradition for the mainstream. Most of what is out there from various publishers are little more than Heathen-lite, Wiccan influenced tracts of new age mumbo jumbo filtered through a Dungeons and Dragons understanding of the Gods and Goddesses that call Asgard their home.

In all honesty, these two books from Galina Krasskova are little different. While there is an attempt to be unbiased and inclusive of the various denominations that embodies the present makeup of Modern Heathenry, there is far too much reliance on unsupported personal gnosis for my taste and an unhealthy fascination with the Rokkr, shadowy figures of chaos and the enemies of the Aesir.

These two texts, Exploring the Northern Tradition and Northern Tradition for the Solitary Practitioner, fell far short of my expectations and my understanding of the Holy Powers and of the People of the North. I will not outright discourage anyone from reading them. There are kernels of truth and inspiration to be found within, but if one is truly seeking enlightenment and the path toward the reawakening of the true Northern Tradition you would be better served by looking to the Prose and Poetic Eddas.

For further guidance I suggest visiting the Asatru Folk Assembly.

One Response to “Review: Krasskova’s Northern Tradition”

  1. […] have reviewed her works in the past. Here are my reviews of Exploring the Northern Tradition and Northern Tradition for the Solitary Practitioner. My thoughts have not changed in the […]

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