The Troth
 

Lesson Two: The Gods and Goddesses

Readings:
The Elder Troth – Lesson Two.
The Poetic Edda. Specifically Voluspa, Havamal, Vafthrudnismal, Grimnismal, Hymskvida, Thrymskvida, Skirnismal, Rigsthula, Baldrs Draumar, and Lokasenna.
The Prose Edda. Most of Gyfalginning, and throughout Skaldskaparamal.
Our Troth, Volume 1. Chapters 8-20.

Exercises:
All exercises found in The Elder Troth, Lesson Two, and/or the following:

  1. Consider the connection between many of our gods and goddesses and the various forces of nature. How do our god/desses manifest themselves in the world? Write down your impressions.

  2. Our gods and goddesses operate according to the rules of reciprocity, as we all do. Make an offering to the gods and goddesses you feel closest to in your life, in order to thank them for their gifts. Then, reflect on the experience, and write down your impressions, any omens you noticed, feelings you had, etc.

  3. Examine the accusations Loki makes against the gods and goddesses in Lokasenna. How many are true, and how many outright lies? How many are truths that Loki twists to his own ends? Who defends whom, and why do you think that is important to know? Why do the gods and goddesses bind Loki at the end of the poem?

  4. After reading Rigsthula (the Lay of Rig), consider Heimdal’s role in human society. Why is this such an important poem, and what does it say about the lives of our ancestors? Does Rigsthula have modern heathen relevance? Why, or why not?