Monday, November 27, 2006

Focus on a Hero of the Northern Way: Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson

Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson is the father of modern Asatru. He lived all his life in Iceland, in constant contact with his folk-culture and with the unseen powers that surrounded him on that holy land. It was his efforts that won Icelandic government recognition of Asatru as the traditional and honorable folk-faith of the Northern Peoples. I believe that everyone interested in revivals of the Northern Pagan Religions should read the interview done with him here:

Interview with Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson

Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson's interview moved me deeply. I think that he was and is the very image of a "grass roots" follower of the old ways- every word he speaks in this interview resonates with a timeless, earthy wisdom. His words were clearly chosen carefully, and yet, they flowed with a simple honesty that we should all aspire to, if we ever find ourselves asked such questions.

More than this, I think that Sveinbjörn's way of life is the very essence of the Northern Path- close to the Land and reverent. Despite the absurd manner in which so many modern Heathen and Pagan thug-heads try to deny the power of Nature and the Land, even going so far as to try to fight against the term "land centered" or "earth centered" as a description for modern polytheistic religions, Sveinbjörn clearly presents the most authentic Heathen perspective possible, one of complete reverence for Mother Nature.
I think that the survival of Heathenry and true Paganism into the future is contingent on people coming into it who are just as "grass roots" as Sveinbjörn was, just as in touch with their Land, wherever they are, and just as willing to love the values of freedom and personal relationship with the Gods.

I wonder how well it sits with so many of the so-called "leaders" and loudmouths of the modern Asatru movement who demand that people think this or that about this God or that God, and who accuse people who see things differently from them of being evil peddlers of "UPG", to see Sveinbjörn say: "Anyone can pray to the Gods in whatever manner he likes."

My personal favorite quote from this interview was this one:

Interviewer: You live here by yourself on your land. Isn't that kinda lonely?

Sveinbjörn: "Oh no, my nearest neighbor lives 3½ mi. from here, and, besides that, I'm completely surrounded by beings, Landspirits--the Hidden folk."

I know just what Sveinbjörn meant. I give all honor to the spirit of this great man, and raise my cup to him!