I remember when I first came across a book edited and published by Gwendolyn Taunton, it was the Primordial Traditions Compendium (2009). It was an impressive small press publication which stood out from many others I received for review. It was not only exceptionally well produced, but superbly proof read and clearly edited with devoted and care. What was more significant was the focus; it came from the perspective of the Sophia Perennis or Primordial Tradition with a deep understanding of the esoteric. At the same time it displayed the highest academic standards, each article was well documented and well referenced.
Since that time Gwendolyn Taunton has produced and/or edited a range of titles including a very impressive one on the Northern Traditions. When I noticed a second volume on the North European Traditions was being produced I have to admit I was rather excited. Mimir offers an excellent range of articles, there is no extraneous articles or padding, each one has been selected for relevance and all are challenging and work within terms of the Northern European context both philosophically and Traditionally.
Gwendolyn Taunton’s Introduction sets the stage by discussing Nietzsche, the death of God and our descent into an age without meaning, an age of the cult of money, celebrity and consumerism. At the same time it is an age in which many of us are rediscovering the old gods and are reawakening to our heritage and the importance of tradition.
The Introduction is followed by a wide and diverse range of articles just a small selection includes..
Amor Fati: The Nornir and the Concept of Fate which is also by Taunton covers that fascinating subject of the three Norns and what is understood in the northern tradition as fate. Taunton offers a superb exploration of the Norns including looking at Greek, roman and Vedic connections as she searches for their origin both philosophically and iconographically.
Matt Hajduk offers us a comprehensive guide to the Norse presence in North America as documented in the Vinland Sagas
The story of Gunnlaug the worm-tongue and Raven the Skald is a truly marvellous tale and a great read.
Roy Orlogstru offers a comprehensive look at the Traditionalist and esoteric school of Asatruwith a special focus on Rene guenon and Georges Dumezil. Later in this volume he examines the primal law from a northern and Traditionalist perspective.
Maria Kvilhaug focuses on the importance of initiation within the Eddas and elucidates the nature of the initiatory experience in the Norse tradition. While there are many examples of invitation Kvilhaug chooses a small number to explore in quite some detail.
Brett Stevens takes us on a philosophical journey into the nature of the spiritual or initiatory quest as expressed in the various strands of the Indo European tradition.
There are three major systems of the runic tradition, the Armanen which originated with Guido von List and is primarily found in the Germanic and European countries. The Futhark which seems most popular and was made propagated through the work of Edred Thorsson and Uthark. The Uthark theory was first postulated by Sigrud Agrell (1881 – 1937) a Swedish runic scholar, poet and mystic. He believed that the traditional first rune used in the Elder Futhark was a blind (the Fehu Rune) and should come last. This theory meant that the UR rune which means primordial would come first.
Juleigh Howard-Hobson examines this lesser known rune order and its ramifications on the use and interpretation of the runes.
Tara Reynolds takes us into the realm of the Celts examining the power of the warrior goddess.
Mimir ends with Taunton exploring the connections between the Berserkers and the Vedic cult of the Vratya, a challenging and informative study.
This is an exceptional volume bringing a Traditional perspective to the Northern traditions coupled with a superb knowledge of esotericism and sustaining the highest standards of academia.