Here is an interesting interview from a Youtuber called The Modern Platonist. In this video he speaks with Aki Cederberg who is a European Pagan author, and creative artist, who wrote a book called “Journeys in the Kali Yuga: A Pilgrimage from Esoteric India to Pagan Europe.” I have order the book myself but have yet to fully take a deep dive so I am not able to make a full review.
There are a few points in this interview that really resonated with me regarding my purpose, what I feel is a calling, and my goal with the Hammer and Vajra project.
In this interview he speaks of European Paganism being a broken line. This is something that I feel like isn’t 100% true but objectively can be summarized as true. While we have had folklorist, theologians, mystics, and certain “orders” what have appeared over the years our direct connections for the most part are broken. Cederberg speaks of his journey to India to become an initiate in the Nagababa Sādhanā. He talked regarding taking the Vedic path and bringing the linage of unbroken Indo-European faith back to the European Paganism but keeping it the flavor of European Paganism. In sort of a syncretic method. Also like reenacting the Indo-European migratory path again. This would be for the goal of creating an unbroken line and almost stitching European Paganism back together with its past. I myself have have performed many travels and working through imitation in a similar path, though nothing as extreme as Sadhu from India (Though the term Shugen for Vajrayana buddhism is derived from Sadhu there fore Shugendo is like the Buddhist Sādhanā). He also mentioned how European paganism needs figured like the Sadhu who are adherence to Odin, Veles, Dionysus, etc, in order to bring back the divine connection to the everyday people. This is something that the Hammer and Vajra project supports for all traditions. Part of our goal is not only to achieve something syncretic like this but to highlight others who are making such strives in the west. This too is what I think Odinism needs as well.
In this new year, with danger and political unrest coming to a boil across the world, it is time for a revival of true spirituality of the people. I hope this marks the year where many of you start this journey as well. May the Gods bless you all and lead you to wisdom and strength. Hammer and Vajra Written by Zachary Gill 03 January 2021
This new year consider taking the Shiva pill. As you may know I practice a syncretic faith of Vedic Heathenism. So I see the aspect of the Sky Father and Godhead primarily found in Odin and Shiva-Ruda.
I feel Shiva-Rudra / Odin adoration represents the best for those who are seeking wisdom, strength, and self improvement. Especially for males and their Devi / Goddess counterparts show a deep understanding for females to which both sexes can learn and grow in their individual strength and in proper Dharma and morale compass.
Here is a list of posts I have made regarding my own journey and understanding of my path focusing on Shiva.
Happy New Years to everyone! I am working on a few more book projects and well as posts regarding Odinic and Vedic wisdom (and all other Indo-European or ancient traditions). 2020 was a doozy, but there are good things that came from it. I released my first book, and met many great people online whom I have learned a lot from. Hopefully more freedom will emerge from 2021. As always embrace the divine and self improvement in all things. Let this year be the time to embark on your own spiritual journey, defend your culture, make connections with tribe and family, and self growth. Wish you all the best. Hammer and Vajra! Written by Zachary Gill 31 December 2020.
1. What are your honest thoughts about Christ (the idea) and Jesus (the potential person) if he existed. This question is two fold as Christ the idea or title could represent the archetype of the Indo-European savior / Sun God ( Mithras, Saoshyant, Maitreya, Kalki, Sol Invictus, Krishna, Shakyamuni Buddha etc) or the divine Child of the Sky father (Heracles, Dionysus, Thor, Indra, Tammuz, Marduk, Gilgamesh). Both lists overlap strongly. The second fold being the man of the historical record that is Jesus as known by contemporary Christianity.
2. The second question is what are your honest thoughts Krishna? (No matter your Indo-European group of faith path) Also on being respectful to Krishna and Krishna worship as an avatar or extension of Indo-European archetype like the above regardless of the Hare Krishna / ISKON movement’s tendency toward monotheistic interpretations of God.
In your responses please be as polite as possible regardless if you disagree or agree with ideas regarding the figures above. However, do speak your mind so that we can all learn.
The reason why I bring this up is that these two spiritual figures are probably the most prominent ones you will encounter today. Christianity is responsible for the creation of the Judeo-Christian faith that is ingrained in the Americas today, but is also responsible in turn for the preservations of various European and Indo-European morals, virtues, and concepts that it absorbed in the west. In the Eastern Orthodoxy it may reflect the last branches of Roman style imperial understanding and even mystical interpretations that were considered heretical in the west.
Regarding Krishna worship, the various Vaishnavism branches are probably the most internationally reaching of any Indian based religions. Most so-called Vedic content in the west is linked to a form of Vaishnavism or Krishna worship. More people know of the Bhagavad Gita and the Mahābhārat than the actual Rig Vedas or Upanishads it seems. Therefore, the popularity of this religion is quickly becoming the face of “Hinduism” as one knows it in the west (and even in the East to some degree).
The last question would be are these two faiths and representation coming to close together? Where they are at risk of one being absorbed by another and running the understanding between them? In particular regards to missionary work being done in India where “tricking”, for lack of a better term, people into conversation by correlating the Gods into being the same as Christian God/s or lesser is a common practice.
While I have my personal opinions and biases, which I have voiced here a few times, I think it would be best to gather a few opinions of that which is out there.
Hammer and Vajra Official Book Recommendation List
I think a lot of people looking into Germanic Heathenry or other forms of Paganism are rather confused on good study material. Often, they get recommended a bunch of Wiccan or Super-Neo Pagan books that are good for what they are, maybe, but not for an understanding of European paganism in the context of folk religion and greater Indo-European interconnective understanding. So below I am going to provide a list of books I recommend in various aspects of Indo-European, Pagan, Vedic, and Germanic studies. This will include the basic primers of spiritual scripts as well for beginners.
These books are all recommendations for their content not for the sociopolitical context of the author or the time the author wrote, be that opinion conservative or liberal.
I am also providing Amazon Links for those who would like to purchase and support these Authors.
The post is long so please look throughout if you want to see something in particular you are personally following or interested in.
General Indo-European understanding
Comparative Mythology by Prof Jaan Puhvel
This book is the best I can recommend in understanding Indo-European connectivity between ancient religions. It might be rather scholarly and hard for some to understand but I feel it is a bit more approachable than some of Georges Dumézil’s works. Though I would say much of his works should be sought out for comparison if you can find one in English. I personally think that “Comparative Mythology” is the best jumping point for anyone wanting to understand the inner connectivity for these traditions.
This may seem like an odd choice as it is the most mainstream, however, it is also the best collections of “myth” and historical attested legends / lore you will find in almost any book joined together.
Syncretic Indo-European Faith (Hammer & Vajra)
It has come time to recommend my own book.
“A compendium of Indo-European religion and a guide for the spiritual concepts of Vedic Heathenism. A Syncretic Indo-European Faith by Zachary Gill is an introduction to a syncretic modern faith, to include the practices, history, culture, and values that makes up this IE based Heathen path. Using both academic research and personal gnosis, Mr. Gill illustrates how the roots of Indo-European peoples and their many-branched faiths can guide the modern heathen. This book is especially for those who wish to reinvigorate their practice. He examines the IE deities in-depth, contrasting, and comparing them across branches and offering a study of how deities have changed in both appearance and function over time and culture. It is meant as a guide and companion book for those interested in discovering the standard practices found within all IE faiths, a background that all peoples of Indo-European descent share.”
Summoning the Gods by Collin Cleary. This is probably my favorite book to understanding the divine / the Gods and Monism. It does a decent comparison of Indo-European philosophy and thought while showing the inner connectivity of divinity. It is a bit harder to find a physical copy nowadays.
Germanic / Heathenism
There is a bit of controversy regarding whose translations you should trust. While I love that the older 1800s translations from Thorpe and Bellows. Though modernly a lot of people recommend the translations of Prof. Jackson Crawford. I personally have only read a bit of his books. I will say cross comparing various translations might be the best approach.
The Poetic Edda/Elder Edda is mostly written down within the Codex Regius, a 12th -century manuscript, but is considered to be poems that had been passed via oral tradition since much earlier. The author of this is unknown, as it is thought to be various authors throughout. This Edda is the primary source and sacred text of most modern Germanic Pagan movements and religions. It is broken into various poems of which the Hávamál and the Rígsþula are contained. However, it is the Völuspá, which is considered to be pivotal in understanding the beliefs of the Early Germanic peoples as it not only tells of the creation of the cosmos but foretells the future end and rebirth of the world.
The Hávamál (Old Norse: sayings of the High One) is included as part of the Codex Regius (Approx. 1270 A.D), the Icelandic Book of Kings. While the Codex Regius is filled with various poems pertaining to the Norse gods, it also contains a lot of euhemerist concepts. That being said, the Hávamál is a group of poems that are spiritually attributed to sayings from Odin himself. These poems are broken up into different groupings of subjects that provide advice and wisdom for daily life. To many modern heathens, these poems are considered divine spiritual wisdom. The portion of the Hávamál that deals with Odin’s sacrifice to his higher self on the World Tree, as well as the usage of the Runes, stand out from the rest of the poems and are often the focus of esoteric and metaphysical philosophies and ritual.
There are many Viking, Germanic, Scandinavian, and other Sagas which would take a long time to list completely. One of my main recommendations for this would be those published by Penguin Publishing. I will say the Völsunga Saga and Nibelungenlied stand out as they have influenced western culture and understanding much more than people realize.
The Prose Edda, also called the Younger Edda, was written by Snorri Sturluson, who was an Icelandic Historian, lawman, and scholar who lived in the 13th century. He wrote Skaldic poems, which gave a brief history of the world and covered the “mythologic history” of the Norse. Most of his writings were based on the Codex Regius and were filled to the brim with Euhemerism. While this is very important to historians and those who want to glean what they can from his writings, it is indeed set in the Christian context, unlike that of the Elder or Poetic Edda for the most part.
The Northern Dawn: A History of the Reawakening of the Germanic Spirit: From the Twilight of the Gods to the Sun at Midnight
This book is great for understanding Germanic Paganism and how it was Christianized. This is a Great book in understanding the Laws and Indo-European spirit that was behind much of Germanic faith and culture before, during, and after the rise of Christianity.
The Big Book of Runes and Rune Magic: How to Interpret Runes, Rune Lore, and the Art of Runecasting by Edred Thorsson
Books by Aelfric Avery and Edred Thorsson / Stephen Flowers
Gutiska Hunslastaths Razda by Aelfric Avery A Gothic heathen liturgy in the Wulfilan Gothic language with a modern English interlinear translation which honours the gods and goddesses of the ancient Goths. The liturgy consists of the ritual practices of modern-day Gothic heathens which are based on what is known of the ancient Germanic heathen rites.” https://www.lulu.com/…/paperback/product-22653103.html
The Mysteries of the Goths by Edred Thorsson. “After providing a concise view of the history of the ancient Goths and their legacy, this text embarks on an ambitious esoteric adventure into the realm of authentic Gothic lore. These adventures encompass the particulars of the ancient Gothic religion, both its pagan roots and Arian-Christian expressions. The mysteries of the unique Gothic alphabet, a synthesis of Runic, Greek and Roman lore, are deeply explored in ways never before revealed. The great Gothic treasures and artifacts, such as the so-called Temple Treasure and the magical Gothic spears of destiny, are also systematically brought to light. This book if for all who treasure the deep Gothic heritage and legacy.”
Gaut’s Descendants: Gothic Religion and Culture in Germania by Aelfric Avery “Gaut’s Descendants: Gothic Religion and Culture in Germania explores the religion and culture of the Goths and the Gothic influence on other Germanic tribes. Some of the topics examined include: the gods and goddesses of the Goths; the rituals and magic of the Goths; Gaut, the founding father god of the Goths, his surviving myths and his cult of sacral kingship; the various influences that contributed to the synthesis of Gothic religion and culture; the nature of Gothic Christianity and survivals of Gothic heathenry in Christian times; how the Migration Age layer of Germanic mythology differed from the more well-known Viking Age layer of Germanic mythology; how the Goths contributed to Germanic mystical and religious concepts preserved in the Eddas such as the differences between the Aesir and Vanir gods; the substantial influence of the Goths on the legend and poetry of the rest of the Germanic world, especially in Viking Age Scandinavia and Anglo-Saxon England.”
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of good Primary sources regarding writing on Slavic Paganism. I would recommend a few authors but it would result in a battle among people whether the sources were legitimate or not.
If one wants to cross examine Celtic Faith as well, which is inner connected with Germanic faith (most Germanics being Celtic as much as they are Germanics and both tribes coming from the East originally). This one doesn’t focus on the Gauls as much as I would like it to.
For a fuller breakdown on Celtic understanding I would suggest my post below where provide various links.
Much like how the aforementioned Poetic Edda, the Rig Veda, and the biblical Genesis the Theogony gives the birth of the universe, the world, and the creation of the Gods etc. It may have been heavily influenced by Sumerian, Luwian, Hittite, and other creation stories but it correlates easily with many Indo-European faiths.
The Orphic religious context, which some referrer to as a mystery cult, is in my opinion an important approach to esoteric thought, embracing life and death, personal ritual, and connection with the divine.
Herodotus is often considered the first historian. He is considered to have lived between 484 and 425 BC. He was a Greek philosopher who traveled and wrote various things about the peoples he claimed to visit. He wrote on the Scythians, which is often is considered the earliest mentioning of them. But much of what he wrote should be understood as having been written through the lens of Greek dominance and showed political favor to certain groups and making others look like barbarians, though one shouldn’t dismiss the fact that what he wrote is valuable information regarding peoples and cultures of the past.
Homer’s Works (Iliad and Odyssey)
It is Homer, an ancient Greek, philosopher, and author, that epics such as the Iliad and the Odyssey are attributed to. These tales are considered by some to be historical and to others to be fantastical surround the history of the Greeks and the Trojan war. The quality and interpretations of these writings vary depending on the translator or language. The one thing that they represent, for the context of Indo-European Paganism, is the rituals, culture, and allegories beings depicted. For this alone, these writings are priceless.
Plato’s The Republic
While this is considered a political book as well as a book on philosophy and ethics, Plato speaks often of praising the Gods, ritual, and how one should conduct one’s life piously.
Persian / Zoroastrian
The Avesta is a collection of Zoroastrian holy texts written in the Avestan language and attributed primarily to Zarathustra himself and is thought to be between 1500 and 600 BC with Zarathustra beingapproximately from 6480 BC. The Avesta consists of the Yasna (primarily focused on ritual) with the five faiths being considered highly important and possibly the oldest and most connected to the Proto-Indo-European/Vedic faith. While the ancient texts are the basis of the Zoroastrian religion and, in a rather similar case to the Bible and Quran, said to be transmitted from God (Ahura Mazda) to Zarathustra, much of the texts have greater connections to IndoEuropean Paganism as a whole. The texts and their contexts must be viewed through the eyes of the culture at the time, and are often mistaken for Monotheism, despite the fact that they have hymns to different Gods and Spirits (such as Mithra). These beings are called Yazata and align closely with counterparts in the Vedas as well as other Gods within IndoEuropean faiths such as the Slavic, Greek, and Germanic traditions. Reading the Avesta might give the devotee or seeker of knowledge a rather familiar feeling which they may trace to that of Christianity and Islam. However, this is due to the fact that the Persian empire (who was for the most part Zoroastrians) had a strong influence on the region, which continued from ancient times into even both the Greece and Roman Empires. Some Judeo-Christian and Islamic concepts were, for the lack of a better description, lifted completely from Zoroastrian writings and beliefs. For those who read the Avesta for a Vedic Heathen practice or to seek deeper wisdom and understanding of Indo-European Paganism, they should pay keen attention to the rituals and magics, origin stories, Fire worship, and the reverence to Mithra. This could arguably be one of the first examples of Monism.
For modern reading I would recommend the following. The Good religion, Original Magic, and Mazda way by Stephen flowers.
India / Vedic
There are thousands of Indian texts. Not all of them are Vedic. The more time passes the newer texts are less and less Vedic, at least in my opinion.
With this I would recommend, at least for westerners, primarily the Rig Veda which I feel is the most important as it sets the stage for Indo-European ritual and understanding. After this I would recommend the Upanishads as they delve into a deeper understanding of interconnectivity, the nature of divinity, and what could be described as original monist thought.
Though it may be considered controversial, if case you want to know the difference between Vedic scripture and the broader Hindu scripture. Personally, I only follow Vedic scripture, which I see as more reflective of greater Indo-European faiths. Within this is included the four Vedas. The Rigveda (Praise Hymns Knowledge), the (Sacrificial knowledge), the Samaveda (Song/Hymn Knowledge), and the Atharvaveda (Magical/Ritual Knowledge). It is not that I would ignore the wisdom of the Hindu texts or think lesser of their worship. However, this is where the Vedas are adopted for more culturally relevant to what became the Hindus and less to overarching Indo-European or Proto-Indo European Paganism.
That being said the tales in the The Bhagavad Gita and the Mahābhārata are very good examples of morality, devote spirituality and how to conduct oneself honorably.
Rig Veda translated by Wendy Doniger
At Sacred Texts by Ralph T.H. Griffith, Translator
In this part I will give a small list of recommended Authors that I’ll leave up to you to investigate or seek out yourself. I might elaborate on them on future posts.
Plato, Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, etc.
Much of this could be summarized by looking into the Western Canon. Of course this has become a political issue in the current era, however, most of these works transcended what I would call “modern” politics.
Esotericism Julius Evola, René-Jean-Marie-Joseph Guénon, Guido Von List, Meister Eckhart, Hermes Trismegistus, various alchemist and Pagan leaning philosophy writers.
Spiritually inspired fiction J.R.R Tolkien, C.S Lewis, H.P Love Craft, Robert Howard, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Frank Herbert.
Other works Other works would be studies on Scythian and Tengriism as well as various Buddhist Sutra, Mantra, and Tantra. Many of those deserve their own post and book recommendations which I might do at a later date.
I hope this small foray into what I would consider proper Indo-European philosophy and religious texts helps guide you. I’m not saying that these are the only books that should be read or that there aren’t a controversy or mistakes in any of these books or works by the authors. Instead, what I am implying is that if one is seeking an understanding of “Paganism” “Heathenry” or Indo-European spirituality and they haven’t read any of the primary texts or some of these supporting authors, be the of a Christian time period or not, then they are doing their own journey a disservice. That being said it is important to cross reference and question your understanding as well as that of others. Strive for truth and wisdom always. Hammer and Vajra Written by Zachary Gill, 19 December 2020.
I received a request for elaboration on my personal take on Death, afterlife, and reincarnation. I decided to expand this to include life cycles, karma, and divinity as a whole. This isn’t an academic take but a personal one. It may not be 100% factually correct and should serve more as Hammer and Vajra’s take on these subjects. So in most spiritualties, especially the Indo-European / Indo-Iranian and European (Aryan) ones the concept of eternal death or punishment isn’t present for the most part. In these traditions, life is viewed as cyclic. Eras or Eons (called Yuga’s in the Vedic) change in a cycle. In the same way, the belief in reincarnation was present. The wheel, which is very important in all of these traditions, turns. The turning of the wheel represents everything from the changing of ages (Yugas, Zodiac constellations etc) to the solstices within the year, to death and rebirth. If you look at the tree of life in the Germanic tradition, Levels of the afterlife in the Greco-Roman, or the cycle of an afterlife in the Vedic / Indian / Buddhist traditions there are different levels of rebirth depending on one’s Karma /Deeds / Life that was led. This doesn’t mean like it has been corrupted with new age hippie movements. There isn’t good karma or bad karma, there is just karma. Karma is like a weight. Depending on your deeds, or the deeds of your ancestors / past lives (your ancestral blood runs through your DNA and guides you) you will have more or less Karma. This isn’t to be confused with the concept of Original sin which isn’t the same thing. However, in the same way, spirituality, conduct, and enlightenment can help tailor your Karma allowing for a rebirth in certain realms. Everything should be seen as impermanent. Meaning even rebirth in another realm will result in death and rebirth again. It is a cycle. A cycle that even the Gods are bound to. Most traditions have the concept of a gatekeeper and a guide / Psychopomp. These aspects are the judgment of your karma. All beings will traverse to hell and spend time there depending on their Karma. Helheim (which is the Germanic term) isn’t a bad place in itself. While some traditions have it containing an aspect punishment, it usually was considered just the holding place for the dead. The punishment is almost always a self-inflicted one based off of one’s own Karma. Basically your own hell. Not something divinely implemented. Gods themselves are subject to this same cycle. This is why spiritually the Gods can guide you towards enlightenment, but ultimately you are your own savior. It is your journey.
I see the other side as a trans-migratory experience. A lot of scientific studies have been conducted to show that there is a concept of consciousness or spirit that is present within the mind and that vacates upon death. While the Soul itself is comprised of parts (See Plato’s theories as well as some of the Germanic-based theories from Edred Thorsson) the spirit as we normally consider it does depart. These realms are the various destinations. Metaphysically speaking they aren’t physical planes, but ones a different level or frequencies if you will within the same existence. This concept is touched upon a bit in the Monist tradition as well as Platonism, and most Indian / Vedic sources. Existence itself is one. The One could be considered “God” / “Logos”. This doesn’t mean monotheism as modernly interpreted. But that existence itself is One. In this One there are various aspects of its self-experience or evolution. Think of it like cells and organs within a body. This goes all the way down to the atomic level and all the way back up to a cosmic one with the Gods. The Gods are aspects of this One/divinity itself. Humans are also aspects. You contain divinity within you as a part of the one as do I. However, you and I are obviously different people. In this same way, the Gods are aspects, as are spirits in different realms or afterlife. Each resides on a higher or lower plane. Some are closer to the one and some are further away. The Governing father/sky God, (Dyēus Phter) who is usually seen as a trinity, would be considered much closer to the One or Divine than we are. In such he would guide the evolution and conduct of the One’s experiential will.
In conclusion, mankind should conduct itself with a focus on improvement. The concept of Nietzsche’s Übermensch comes to mind. The Gods and our ancestors are our examples of how to or how not to live. We are in this together and may help each other. The Gods and our folk will guide us, but in the end, it is our journey. Conduct your life accordingly. Don’t look for shortcuts. Hammer and Vajra! — Zach Gill