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Travels Through Middle Earth: The Path of a Saxon Pagan

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Tolkien's enduring vision of Middle Earth was largely inspired by the worldview of ancient Saxon Pagans. In this pagan guidebook, Alaric Albertsson presents a complete introduction to Anglo-Saxon cosmology, deities, spirits, and rituals.

Travels Through Middle Earth offers practical information about the Saxon Pagan path, including many ways to incorporate Saxon rituals int
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Paperback, 217 pages
Published June 8th 2009 by Llewellyn Publications (first published June 1st 2009)
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The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. TolkienThe Two Towers by J.R.R. TolkienThe Return of the King by J.R.R. TolkienThe Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
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Carol Waller
An intriguing look at a practicing Anglo-Saxon Pagan or Heathen as he says. Spends a lot of time showing the differences between the Norse pantheon and the Anglo-Saxon one (as well as throwing shade at Stan Lee). Feels English speakers should have more affinity for Anglo-Saxon as it is coded in our speech. But then again, the English language is a wide and vivid tapestry from many peoples, times and cultures. My orlay may have A-S influences, but it also has the books I read, the countries I gre ...more
Cathy Douglas
I expected more from this than your basic Paganism 101, but that's what it turned out to be. There's not much to this volume but a little basic Asatru (the modern name for norse paganism), a little Wicca, and a mead recipe. The truth is that we probably won't ever know that much about Anglo-Saxon paganism, because these two races only emerged from the surrounding tribes when they got into conquering and smiting, by which time they were, of course, Christian. Most of the information that can be g ...more
Steve Cran
I am familiar with Asatru and the Heathen religion taken from the perspective of the Scandinavians and Icelanders. The original follower of the Norse deities were all pretty much Germanic or Anglo-Saxon. This book offers a beginner course from the view point of British Anglo-Saxon practice. For the most part is much the same. Rituals are very similar. The most glaring difference though is how they pronounce their words. For example Odin is not called Odin but he is rather called Woden. Freya is ...more
Jenna
It’s 4:30 AM and it’s been a week or so since I read the book, but I’ve farted around long enough. Here goes.

It is my opinion that Travels Through Middle-Earth: The Path of a Saxon Pagan, by Alaric Albertsson, is a must-read for anybody interested in modern Anglo-Saxon paganism/heathenry.

I’m not sure what background Albertsson has when it comes to paganism, but he seems to know a bit about Wicca, and provides a little bit of compare/contrast between Wicca, Asatru, and Anglo-Saxon paganism/heath
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Mike
A basic introduction to Anglo-Saxon paganism as the author practices it. I would have happily seen more depth and detail, but I do take Albertsson's point that he's consciously shying away from defining an orthopraxy. His clear outlay of basic terms and concepts, as well as his frequent comparisons/contrasts with other faiths and traditions, gave a solid view into his practice, especially for readers who already have some familiarity with other varieties of Euro-American paganism.

My main beef is
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Ian Brunton
Disappointing. It's a very basic Asatru 101 book using Anglo-Saxon words instead of Norse words. There's hardly anything in this book that makes "Saxon Paganism" at all distinct from Asatru. The chapter on mead is utterly unnecessary. Toward the end, Albertsson makes a number of suspicious claims that really ought to be backed up with a citation or two. You'd learn more from an hour on Wikipedia.
Kevin
Anyone seeking to pursue spirituality through Anglo-Saxon Paganism should start right here. This is as excellent an introduction to a particular faith as I've ever encountered. The author blends an abundance of practical and scholarly research, along with a pragmatic sense of humor, to relate basic information and useful rituals that everyone in such a pursuit could use. The book is not too long-winded, but still informative enough to make a precise start down this interesting path.

Unfortunately
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Trampas Jones
For those looking on a serious book on Saxon religion this is not it. Whch be guessed at seeing as Llewelyn published it. While many of the common myths in Saxon traditions he says are not true is correct I found his worldview, attitude and writing style to be very 90s and later neo-pagan. The first halve if the book was tolerable, albeit a bit paganism 101. The latter half of the book with holy days and rites of passage are so ludicrous I had a hard time finishing the book. If your a Wiccan or ...more
Daniel
When I first picked up this book, I thought it would have something to do with J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth. Realized my mistake after getting it home and starting to actually read it!

All the same, Travels Through Middle Earth is interesting. It's a basic introduction to a modern reconstruction of ancient Anglo-Saxon pagan religion. When I say "basic," I mean just that, and that's my main complaint about this book. It's a little too basic--give me more information, please!

Compare to Brian Bates
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Michelle
Jan 25, 2015 Michelle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Beginners to an Anglo-Saxon path
Recommended to Michelle by: Alaric Albertsson
I really enjoyed reading this book. Alaric is a wonderful author and provides excellent information for someone new to a Saxon path. This book really inspired me to move forward with my own Anglo-Saxon path and also, reconnect with my German heritage and ancestors. I can't wait to read more by Alaric!

Bevan
This book was fascinating... I loved how the author delved into the connections between the English language and Anglo-Saxon Paganism. Did this sway me to become a Pagan? Absolutely not... did it give me some much needed insight into this belief system? Absolutely yes. Easy, quick read.
Peter Cadoret
Trying to cash in on the Tolkien frenzy this book provide an unsourced view of the recreation of the early anglo-saxon religion for the very basic beginner. It never gets into anything very deeply and seldom traces any practice back further than modern 1970s paganism. Disappointed.
Kendra
Basically an ANGLO-SAXON paganism 101 book. NOT Asatru, except in the similarities. A good basic overview, interesting read, discussing the views of Angle-Saxons. Did bring up the similarities with Norse, Scandinavian, and Germanic commonalities, but is not the same thing.
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