The Sacred Flame Podcast explores our ancestral story-worlds: the ancient foundation narratives that helped guide our ancestors in life. In this podcast, we reinvigorate the modern world with those stories and bring us back to a place of balance through an archaic revival, a new force that is sourced from the old, forgotten knowledge that was once transmitted in living stories in sacred settings. We gather by the sacred flame and revive the old ways of creating community in the world; by listening to nature and reestablishing the ties that let us realize that we are connected with everything that exists.Our ancestors knew that cultivating the right relationships with the other-than-human beings in the world is the key to living a good life. In this podcast, I am retelling and reconnecting the Nordic story-world with our current reality and offering my thoughts on how you can use these stories to reflect on what it means to exist in the modern world.
Freyja and the Dwarfs: Sex and Sexuality in the Viking Age
In this episode, I'm discussing sex and sexuality in the Viking Age --and far, far beyond. I departure from the story about Freyja sleeping with four dwarfs in exchange for the necklace Brisingamen. I discuss other, related stories, not least Ari Thorgilson's report that Hjalti Skeggjason was outlawed for calling Freyja a "bitch" in a poem that he composed in the year 999. From there, I consider other reports on Scandinavians' sexlives in the Viking Age, and what they mean for the general picture we get of pre-Christian attitudes to sex and sexuality. I relate this to factoids about human evolution, our physical configuration, and our inner hormonal processes associated with sexual activities. From there, I take it to a global level and discuss some aspects of other cultures' sexual practices. If you listen to this episode and feel that I don't give you a straight answer to what we can take from this knowledge of history in terms of applying it to our lives today, you'll have gotten the point: it's not for me to decide or even suggest how you should relate to this subject.
Ættir: Unn the Mindful and Family Sovereignty
In this episode we follow in the footsteps of Unn the Mindful, one of the few known women leaders of a settlement in Viking Age Iceland. We explore the reasons her family left Norway for Iceland and what we can learn from her example today. This episode is about family sovereignty: the difference between "family values," a talking point made up by people who want to control our lives, and a sovereign family that defines itself on its own terms without submitting to outside forces. What does it mean to be a member of a family? What does "family" even mean? And how was this all understood in ancient times in the North?
The Last Elder: Snorri Sturluson and the Fantasy of Heaven and Hell
In this episode I take a dive into the life of the creator of parts of the Nordic story-world, Snorri Sturluson. We'll look at his life, his intentions, his interests, and some of the things he did that changed the Nordic story-world forever. I consider Snorri the last elder of the Nordic story-world. He was the last elder for good and for bad. He was one of the last few who carried so much knowledge of the Nordic story-world in his head and could work with it creatively. He also belonged to that last generation of Icelanders who kept the flame alive. But as much as we can thank him for writing down some of the Nordic story-world, so that we would have it today, he was also of that generation of Icelanders who had lost their way and stopped caring about the future of their children as much as their own wealth and fame. He belonged to that generation of Icelanders who left tradition behind to join the Norwegian kingdom and a new world order. The result was devastating to Icelandic culture, the new generations, and the Nordic story-world. It was a loss of intergenerational care, intergenerational storytelling, and continuity. It was a cultural Ragnarok for Iceland. Today, we're faced with a similar cultural Ragnarok as the bonds between generations are failing. We are also faced with a climate catastrophe Ragnarok for those same reasons.
The Wanderings of Rig: Vikings and Whiteness
In this episode I explore the concept of whiteness and why it has become so closely associated with Vikings. We begin with the story about Rig, a deity claimed to be the same as Heimdall, and his journey through Midgard. Rig is said to have created the three classes of humans, and according to the old story, these three classes have something akin to phenotypical descriptions attached to them. After the story, I dissect it and its history, its use in modern times, and dive deep into our modern ideas about Vikings and race, racialization, and the construction of whiteness today.
Frey and Gerd: Growth of the Soil
In this episode I discuss farming from a historical perspective that goes back to the Viking Age and leads all the way to the present day. I work with the story about how Freyr, the force of fertility, desires Gerd, the protector of arable lands. I get into the historical aspects of farming technology in north-western Europe, attitudes, ideologies, and much more concerning land management and agriculture. As always, this episode goes deep into not just what people did but also what people thought when they were managing their lands. I extrapolate from that to some modern developments in land management and agriculture, which evolved from aristocratic land rule in the 1600s to corporate farming today.
Midgard: Walking with the Land-spirits
In this episode, we're investigating how we can connect with the land that we live on. Many of us feel disconnected from the land -or, more importantly, we feel nothing about the land at all. We live in big, urban spaces. Even if we don't live in cities, we generally exist in spaces that are designed to disconnect us from land. In the modern age, it seems that most people only know how to relate to land through ideas about the political territories they live in, their constructed nations. Connecting to land is about seeking, making, sharing, and celebrating natural relationships. We take a deep dive into how we can commune with the land and gain a better sense of who we are based on where we are.
Homepage | Cultural Survival
LANDBACK - Building lasting Indigenous sovereignty.
Native Land Information System – Data Portal of the Native Lands Advocacy Project
Treaty Boundaries and Cessions - Native American Spaces: Cartographic Resources at the Library of Congress - Research Guides at Library of Congress (loc.gov)
Whose Land - Welcome!
What Native land are you on? This map shows Indigenous tribes' past territories : NPR
Native-Land.ca | Our home on native land
Invasion of America (arcgis.com)
Home Page | National Museum of the American Indian (si.edu)
Coming Down to Earth • Writings – Bayo Akomolafe
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Continental Rationalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Rationalism vs. Empiricism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Really appreciate this podcast
Excellent work, and thank you for sharing it.
Weekly podcast please
I hope you start producing weekly great podcast
Tussen tak. Migwetch. Thank you.