Lesson Six: The Soul and Afterlife


The Elder Troth, Lesson Six

Poetic Edda—“Helgakvidha Højrvardhssonar”; “Helgakvidha Hundingsbana” I and II;

Prose Edda—Gylfaginnung chapters 40-41, 49, 51-53

At least one of the following:

  • Teutonic Religion, chapter 8, pp. 99-106
  • Our Troth,  Volume One, Chapter 25; Volume Two, Chapter 14
  • Practical Heathen, Chapter 4


All exercises listed in "The Elder Troth" for Lesson Six and/or the following:

  1. Working through the Eddas, list all the various halls of the dead. Who is "in charge" of each hall, and what kind of dead people go where? What does this say about the ways in which our ancestors viewed the afterlife/afterlives?
  2. Consider your family's hamingja. Meditate on what it is to have that legacy within you, and write down your thoughts, inspirations, or findings. Later, meditate on how your life contributes to your family's hamingja. Write down your thoughts, inspirations, or findings. If you have children, what parts of the family hamingja do you think will be passed down to them? If you do not have children, but have neices/nephews/cousins, how does that change the family hamingja (or does it?)?
  3. Which gods and goddesses seem to have no connection to the afterlife/afterlives as seen in our Lore? What does that say about how our heathen ancestors viewed their soul-parts? Discuss this with a group or consider it on your own, and write down your thoughts.
  4. Consider the disposal of your body. Write down what you would like to be buried or burned with, and why.