Well of Remembrance
Rediscovering the Earth Wisdom
Myths of Northern Europe
with contributions by Bärbel Kreidt, Norbert Mayer and Christian
Answers to modern ecological and spiritual crises may be found by looking
deep into the past--to the ancient indigenous religion of Europe. This
book presents a compelling picture of this little-understood tradition
that is the hidden heritage of so many Americans: the god Odin and his
relentless quest for knowledge: Freya, the goddess of sexuality, abundance,
and seership; the shamans, warriors, and prietesses; the magical plants
and symbols. The riches of this spiritual path are still abundantly available
to all--and eternally relevant on both personal and global levels. 376pp., (originally published: Shambhala Publications, 1994)
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface by Marija Gimbutas
Prologue - The Nazi Curse on Germanic Mythology
The Indo-Europeans and Nordic-Germanic Peoples
One - Migrations and Invasions of the Indo-Europeans .
Origins of the Indo-Europeans. The Descendants of the Kurgan Invaders
in Europe. The Indo-European Legacy.
Two - Religion and Worldview of the Indo-Europeans.
Animism, Shamanism and Paganism. Changing Conceptions of Death and
the After-Life. The Destruction of the Old Religion.
Three - Ancient Germanic Society.
Patriarchy. The Family, the Clan and the Tribe. From Endogamy to Exogamy.
Four - Wodan's Warriors and the Heroic Mystique
Berserker Fury and the Rituals of Battle. Women in War and the Valkyrie
Battle Maidens. The Transformed Berserkers.
Five - Sacred Runes and Mythic Poetry
Runes and Divination. The Edda - Songs and Visions of the Elder Mothers.
Nordic-Germanic Myths and their Meaning for Our Time
Six - Odin-Wodan and the Aesir Sky-Gods.
Odin the Wandering Truth-Seeker. Other Aesir Gods: Tyr, Thor, Balder,
Seven - The New Berserkers by Norbert Mayer
Eight - Freya and the Vanir Earth Deities .
Frejya - Goddess of Earth, Sexuality and Magic. Other Vanir Deities: Njörd
and Freyr. Gullveig and the Origins of War.
Nine -Visions of the Fourfold Goddess by Bärbel Kreidt
Ten - Odin's Self-Sacrifice and the Tree of Worlds.
Odin's Self-Sacrifice. The Tree of Nine Worlds. Dwarves, Elves, Giants
and Gods in the 20th Century.
Eleven - The Well of Remembrance and the Knowledge of the Ancestors.
The Three Norns. Mimir's Well and the One-eyed God. The Revenge of the
Vanir and Mimir's Head.
Twelve - Rituals of Reconciliation and the Quest for the Mead of Inspiration.
The Reconciliation Ritual and Kvasir's Blood. 20th Century Rituals of
Reconciliation. The Loss and Recovery of the Mead of Inspiration.
Thirteen - Twilight of the Sky Gods and New Dawn of the Earth Goddess.
The Völva's Vision of the Ragnarök. Cataclysmic Earth Changes.
The Loosened Monsters and the Final Battle. Defeat and Return of the Pagan
The Mead of Inspiration and Magical Plants of the Ancient Germans
by Christian Rätsch
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Readers' Comments on The Well of Remembrance
The Well of Remebrance is Roots for Euro-Americans. A
long overdue exploration of ancient Germanic-Celtic myths that may help
us recover our forgotten ecological wisdom.
-- Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Belly and Hymns to an Unknown
This significant and timely work lets us hear the ancestral voices
of ancient Europe, offereing celebration of life and guidance in the arts
-- Joanna Macy, author of World as Lover, World as Self
Ralph Metzner's intimate knowledge of nonordinary states of consciousness,
impeccable scholarship, and creative vision provide a fascinating journey
through north European mythology.
-- Stanislav Grof, author of Beyond the Brain and The Holotropic
Stunning - a sourcebook with immediate application to the most
urgent issues of our contemporary world. Metzner's exploration of the
roots of the Western psyche is in the tradition of Campbell, Eliade and
Jung, but in his penetrating understanding of the industrial impasse,
as well as in his focus on the pre-Christian Germanic mythology and its
relevance for us today, he goes beyond what anyone before him has yet
-- Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story
Metzner's fresh look at the mythology of northern Europe skillfully
rescues these grand protean forms from their sad misassociations with
the excesses of German fascism. The original power of the story of Odin
to move and to restore us is presented in a scholarly and thoroughly fascinating
-- Terence McKenna, author the Food of the Gods
Ralph Metzner is a conscientious truth-seeker who never avoids
the difficult or arduous path. In this courageous and challenging book,
he accepts the request of the dishonored gods of poetry and prophecy to
re-view the long-denigrated culture of the early Norse and Germanic peoples
so that we may be reconnected to the visionary, shamanic, earth-centered
traditions in the mythology.
-- Deena Metzger, author of Writing Your Life
An invaluable resource and rich treasury for people of European
and varied backgrounds to reclaim their inherent mythic roots and Earth-honoring
-- Angeles Arrien, author of The Four-Fold Way and Signs of
This book is a guide to the next step in the effort of Europeans and Euro-Americans
to heal ourselves, our sad society, and the Earth: recovering ourselves
as Earth-centered peoples. I take strength from the Well of Remembrance;
it leads me to and through my long-buried lineage.
-- Chellis Glendinning, author of My Name is Chellis, and I'm in Recovery
from Western Civilization.
Metzner explains that by listening to and reflecting on these
ancient forest gods of our ancestors we may once again drink from the
well of remembrance in order to know our place within the ongoing life
of Nature and thus stop the destruction of both our human life and the
-- Dolores LaChapelle, author of Sacred Land, Sacred Sex.