The best books about polytheism

1 authors have picked their favorite books about polytheism and why they recommend each book.

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The Penguin Book of Norse Myths

By Kevin Crossley-Holland,

Book cover of The Penguin Book of Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings

The Norse Myths makes the Norse lore accessible to a modern audience. Unlike some collections, this is a book for adult readers and the author provides a wealth of cultural and background information to compliment the stories. For those who are new to Norse mythology, this is a wonderful starting point. For those who are already familiar with the tales, this book provides a fresh and powerful retelling of the myths.


Who am I?

J.D. Foslan is the author of Loki’s Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods and has been a practicing Polytheist and mystic for over a decade. The author’s other interests include the Frisian language spoken by roughly a half-million people in the Netherlands.


I wrote...

Loki's Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods

By J.D. Foslan,

Book cover of Loki's Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods

What is my book about?

Meet Loki, the Norse god of fire, magic, and trickery. For eons, he lay bound beneath the earth, serving time for an ancient murder. The worlds have changed, and at last he is free. Join Loki as he walks among the gods once more. Coming home is only the beginning of the adventure as he steals off with Freya's cats, confronts his old rival Heimdall, and journeys with Thor to the realms of dwarves and giants. In a tale that spans past and present, Loki shows us the Norse gods as they have never been seen before. This is his story, told entirely from his point of view. This is Loki's Saga.

A World Full of Gods

By John Michael Greer,

Book cover of A World Full of Gods: An Inquiry into Polytheism

We live in a society that allows for only two possibilities: that there exists either one God or no God at all. What C.S. Lewis did for Christianity, this book does for modern Polytheism. It’s an intelligent and thoughtful read that opens up the mind and heart to new spiritual possibilities.


Who am I?

J.D. Foslan is the author of Loki’s Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods and has been a practicing Polytheist and mystic for over a decade. The author’s other interests include the Frisian language spoken by roughly a half-million people in the Netherlands.


I wrote...

Loki's Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods

By J.D. Foslan,

Book cover of Loki's Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods

What is my book about?

Meet Loki, the Norse god of fire, magic, and trickery. For eons, he lay bound beneath the earth, serving time for an ancient murder. The worlds have changed, and at last he is free. Join Loki as he walks among the gods once more. Coming home is only the beginning of the adventure as he steals off with Freya's cats, confronts his old rival Heimdall, and journeys with Thor to the realms of dwarves and giants. In a tale that spans past and present, Loki shows us the Norse gods as they have never been seen before. This is his story, told entirely from his point of view. This is Loki's Saga.

Odin's Wife

By William P. Reaves,

Book cover of Odin's Wife: Mother Earth in Germanic Mythology

This richly detailed book explores the worship of Odin and his wife, providing information from Continental sources as well as surviving Norse lore. It paints a different and more complete picture of a major goddess, and also brings to light older sides of Odin that have nothing to do with our modern images of Viking berserkers.


Who am I?

J.D. Foslan is the author of Loki’s Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods and has been a practicing Polytheist and mystic for over a decade. The author’s other interests include the Frisian language spoken by roughly a half-million people in the Netherlands.


I wrote...

Loki's Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods

By J.D. Foslan,

Book cover of Loki's Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods

What is my book about?

Meet Loki, the Norse god of fire, magic, and trickery. For eons, he lay bound beneath the earth, serving time for an ancient murder. The worlds have changed, and at last he is free. Join Loki as he walks among the gods once more. Coming home is only the beginning of the adventure as he steals off with Freya's cats, confronts his old rival Heimdall, and journeys with Thor to the realms of dwarves and giants. In a tale that spans past and present, Loki shows us the Norse gods as they have never been seen before. This is his story, told entirely from his point of view. This is Loki's Saga.

Up And Down The Tree

By Runic John,

Book cover of Up And Down The Tree: Exploring the nine worlds of Yggdrasil

This is a book for the more mystically inclined, for those who wish to learn how to journey and to have their own encounters and experiences with the Norse Gods and Goddesses. A substantial amount of information on techniques and otherworldly realms is packed into this volume. The meditations are detailed and very helpful. This is not a book to read through in one sitting, but rather a sort of practice manual to refer back to again and again.


Who am I?

J.D. Foslan is the author of Loki’s Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods and has been a practicing Polytheist and mystic for over a decade. The author’s other interests include the Frisian language spoken by roughly a half-million people in the Netherlands.


I wrote...

Loki's Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods

By J.D. Foslan,

Book cover of Loki's Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods

What is my book about?

Meet Loki, the Norse god of fire, magic, and trickery. For eons, he lay bound beneath the earth, serving time for an ancient murder. The worlds have changed, and at last he is free. Join Loki as he walks among the gods once more. Coming home is only the beginning of the adventure as he steals off with Freya's cats, confronts his old rival Heimdall, and journeys with Thor to the realms of dwarves and giants. In a tale that spans past and present, Loki shows us the Norse gods as they have never been seen before. This is his story, told entirely from his point of view. This is Loki's Saga.

The Darkening Age

By Catherine Nixey,

Book cover of The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World

You can’t overstate the impact of religion on this tumultuous period. The transition from paganism to Christianity not only coincided with, but greatly impacted everything that happened in early medieval Europe. Catherine Nixey’s controversial book focuses on that transition and shows it in full, gory detail – the violence it spurned, and the destruction it caused to the ancient culture that preceded the onset of Christianity. A necessary read for understanding the full picture of the 4th and 5th centuries in Europe.


Who am I?

In my novels, I aim to present a different vision of early Post-Roman Britain than the one usually imagined in fiction – especially in the future Kingdom of Kent, where my books are set. To show these connections, and to present the greater background for the events in the novels, I first needed to gain knowledge of what Europe itself looked like in this period: a Gaul divided between Gothic, Frankish, and Roman administration, a complex interplay of Romans and Barbarians, a world in transition from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. The story gleaned from the pages of these books proved as fascinating and intriguing as any I’ve ever read.


I wrote...

The Saxon Spears: An Epic of the Dark Age

By James Calbraith,

Book cover of The Saxon Spears: An Epic of the Dark Age

What is my book about?

The old world is burning and a hero will rise from its ash. Ash is a Seaborn, a Saxon child found on the beach with nothing but a precious stone at his neck and a memory of a distant war from which his people have fled. Raised on the estate of a Briton nobleman, trained in warfare and ancient knowledge, he soon becomes embroiled in the machinations and intrigues at the court of Wortigern, the Dux of Londinium, a struggle that is about to determine the future of all Britannia.


A child of Saxon blood, an heir to Roman family, his is a destiny like no other: to join the two races and forge a new world from the ruins of the old.

Doom of the Gods

By Michael Harrison, Tudor Humphries,

Book cover of Doom of the Gods

This is a vigorous retelling of the last battle of the Norse gods and their enemies, how the gods tried to avert their doom, how they first met those who would kill almost all of them, and what happened after all the slaughter and destruction. The book has the size and format of a typical picture storybook but its powerful illustrations of threat and attack make it more suitable for an older audience.


Who am I?

Alice has had a passion for myths ever since reading Greek myths as a small child. Alice's most recent book is a retelling of myths and legends worldwide. As well as editing several anthologies for children, she has published a book on mythology and another on the fantasy writer Mervyn Peake, and she has many scholarly publications on fantasy and children's literature.


I wrote...

The World Treasury of Myths & Legends

By Alice Mills,

Book cover of The World Treasury of Myths & Legends

What is my book about?

Empires and kingdoms come and go but their myths and legends live on, told, and retold over hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years. Some still flourish today as inspiration for fantasy, from J. R. R. Tolkien to J. K. Rowling and beyond. Some have been almost forgotten and others are still only being partially revealed to outsiders. This book presents a fascinating selection of stories drawn from myths and legends originating from diverse cultures around the globe. From tales from the earliest stone tablets to stories told to delight royal courts; from hero stories to those offering answers to life’s unanswerable questions, this is an absorbing and beautifully presented compendium of tales that have engaged people for generations.

Jokerman

By Aidan Day,

Book cover of Jokerman: Reading the Lyrics of Bob Dylan

Not the best-known Dylan book but Jokerman is unusually productive in its scholarly analysis of many of the Nobel Laurette’s revered lyrics. Investigating the writer’s use of ‘Identity’ in his work happens to coincide with 20 of his best known and most loved songs. At one level this might be seen as a book for anoraks, but it is much more and likely to be of interest to anyone inclined to seek answers to questions raised in the apparent opacity of these Dylan classics.

Who am I?

At the age of 23 I brought Bob Dylan to the Isle of Wight to play the 1969 festival. In my naivety when making the bid I knew nothing about the sixties superstar but by the time he accepted the invitation I had soaked up all that was generally known of his music and backstory. Through the decades since I have closely followed Dylan’s remarkable career and written about his indispensable place in the counterculture. I am an architect and author working in Oxford.


I wrote...

Stealing Bob Dylan from Woodstock: When the World Came to the Isle of Wight. Volume 1

By Ray Foulk, Caroline Foulk,

Book cover of Stealing Bob Dylan from Woodstock: When the World Came to the Isle of Wight. Volume 1

What is my book about?

As well as the background to the festival and the event itself, Stealing Dylan from Woodstock also explores the artist’s career through a period in which the Isle of Wight was the only pre-scheduled or full concert he performed in seven-and-a-half years. This critical period was a major transition in his life and work, during which he was resident in Woodstock, working with the Band, until, to his chagrin, the eponymous festival was put in his backyard, and from which he departed for England to play his own festival.

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