Friday, 20 December 2013

The Seed of Yggdrasill by Maria Kvilhaug Enlightening Times Review

The Seed of Yggdrasill by Maria Kvilhaug 

Published by Whyte Tracks

ISBN 978 87 92632 28 9

This title is a hefty volume to digest but well worth every second of reading time. The Author has presented an outstanding text that anyone who is interested in the Old Norse Myths can delve straight into the heart of Norse Paganism and come out with a deep understanding of the whole belief system. Maria's translation and interpretations of the meanings of the Edda poems are brilliant. To fully understand the context of hidden meanings in the poetry you really have to take the time, as she has done, to break down each part into manageable segments to discover the wealth of wisdom within the words of the Edda Poems.

The last translation of the Edda Poems that I was aware of was Snorri's from 1220 and to be honest I found it hard going to read without any prior knowledge of the poems themselves, The Seed of Yggdrasill has been written in such a way that it fully engages the reader with the writing style and  without them having to have any prior knowledge of the subject. The text has been carefully crafted so that it allows the reader to follow the threads and tie them all together without getting totally lost in the semantics. 

This book will also appeal to anyone interested in the deeper meaning of Runes and their significance in the Norse Traditions as the author takes time to cover the concepts of the Runes and the Norse Gods, and their significance in ancient Pagan tradition.

Like most enthralling texts based on old manuscripts this material stems back to a secret book which was hidden until 1643 and revealed to a Bishop. The author has provided a scholarly masterpiece that not only redefines some of the original ideas from the initial translation but has presented a new way of looking at an old system that, depending on the level of interest of the reader, has the potential to breathe new life into rites of passage that could quite easily have faded into antiquity.

Maria's insights are invaluable and the text restores a large amount of knowledge and wisdom and this book is a must for any serious spiritual seeker to have on their reference bookshelf by getting intimate with the Northern Gods and Goddesses to broaden your knowledge of the old ways from the Pagan past.

The only criticism I have of the book is that unfortunately the binding on the hardcover separated away from the book but that won't stop me reading it again and again as it is truly inspirational, enlightening and a refreshing change from the hundreds of encyclopedias on magic and witchcraft that seems to adorn the bookshelves nowadays.

Maria Kvilhaug was born in Oslo, Norway, 1975. She graduated from the University of Oslo in 2004 with the Master thesis “The Maiden with the Mead – a Goddess of Initiation in Norse Mythology?” which was published in 2009. She frequently lectures and has written several articles on the subject of Old Norse mythology, many of which have been published on her YouTube-channel, where she has a rapidly growing fan club. 

Review by Jade Ashcroft
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