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bookThe Well of Remembrance
Rediscovering the Earth Wisdom Myths of Northern Europe

with contributions by Bärbel Kreidt, Norbert Mayer and Christian Rätsch.

Answers to modern ecological and spiritual crises may be found by looking deep into the past--to the ancient indigenous religion of Europe.

German Translation available here


This book presents a compelling picture of this little-understood tradition that is the hidden heritage of so many Americans: the god Odin and his relentless quest for knowledge: Freya, the goddess of sexuality, abundance, and seership; the shamans, warriors, and prietesses; the magical plants and symbols. The riches of this spiritual path are still abundantly available to all--and eternally relevant on both personal and global levels. 376pp., (originally published: Shambhala Publications, 1994)


 Readers' Comments


Preface by Marija Gimbutas


Prologue - The Nazi Curse on Germanic Mythology

Part I
The Indo-Europeans and Nordic-Germanic Peoples

One - Migrations and Invasions of the Indo-Europeans .
Origins of the Indo-Europeans. The Descendants of the Kurgan Invaders in Europe. The Indo-European Legacy.

Two - Religion and Worldview of the Indo-Europeans.
Animism, Shamanism and Paganism. Changing Conceptions of Death and the After-Life. The Destruction of the Old Religion.

Three - Ancient Germanic Society.
Patriarchy. The Family, the Clan and the Tribe. From Endogamy to Exogamy.

Four - Wodan's Warriors and the Heroic Mystique
Berserker Fury and the Rituals of Battle. Women in War and the Valkyrie Battle Maidens. The Transformed Berserkers.

Five - Sacred Runes and Mythic Poetry
Runes and Divination. The Edda - Songs and Visions of the Elder Mothers.


Part II
Nordic-Germanic Myths and their Meaning for Our Time

Six - Odin-Wodan and the Aesir Sky-Gods.
Odin the Wandering Truth-Seeker. Other Aesir Gods: Tyr, Thor, Balder, Loki. Epilog.

Seven - The New Berserkers by Norbert Mayer

Eight - Freya and the Vanir Earth Deities .
Frejya - Goddess of Earth, Sexuality and Magic. Other Vanir Deities: Njörd and Freyr. Gullveig and the Origins of War.

Nine -Visions of the Fourfold Goddess by Bärbel Kreidt

Ten - Odin's Self-Sacrifice and the Tree of Worlds.
Odin's Self-Sacrifice. The Tree of Nine Worlds. Dwarves, Elves, Giants and Gods in the 20th Century.

Eleven - The Well of Remembrance and the Knowledge of the Ancestors.
The Three Norns. Mimir's Well and the One-eyed God. The Revenge of the Vanir and Mimir's Head.

Twelve - Rituals of Reconciliation and the Quest for the Mead of Inspiration.
The Reconciliation Ritual and Kvasir's Blood. 20th Century Rituals of Reconciliation. The Loss and Recovery of the Mead of Inspiration.

Thirteen - Twilight of the Sky Gods and New Dawn of the Earth Goddess.
The Völva's Vision of the Ragnarök. Cataclysmic Earth Changes. The Loosened Monsters and the Final Battle. Defeat and Return of the Pagan Deities.

The Mead of Inspiration and Magical Plants of the Ancient Germans
by Christian Rätsch

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Readers' Comments on The Well of Remembrance

The Well of Remebrance is Roots for Euro-Americans. A long overdue exploration of ancient Germanic-Celtic myths that may help us recover our forgotten ecological wisdom.
-- Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Belly and Hymns to an Unknown God.

 This significant and timely work lets us hear the ancestral voices of ancient Europe, offereing celebration of life and guidance in the arts of reconciliation.
-- Joanna Macy, author of World as Lover, World as Self

 Ralph Metzner's intimate knowledge of nonordinary states of consciousness, impeccable scholarship, and creative vision provide a fascinating journey through north European mythology.
-- Stanislav Grof, author of Beyond the Brain and The Holotropic Mind

 Stunning - a sourcebook with immediate application to the most urgent issues of our contemporary world. Metzner's exploration of the roots of the Western psyche is in the tradition of Campbell, Eliade and Jung, but in his penetrating understanding of the industrial impasse, as well as in his focus on the pre-Christian Germanic mythology and its relevance for us today, he goes beyond what anyone before him has yet offered.
-- Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story

 Metzner's fresh look at the mythology of northern Europe skillfully rescues these grand protean forms from their sad misassociations with the excesses of German fascism. The original power of the story of Odin to move and to restore us is presented in a scholarly and thoroughly fascinating way.
-- Terence McKenna, author the Food of the Gods

 Ralph Metzner is a conscientious truth-seeker who never avoids the difficult or arduous path. In this courageous and challenging book, he accepts the request of the dishonored gods of poetry and prophecy to re-view the long-denigrated culture of the early Norse and Germanic peoples so that we may be reconnected to the visionary, shamanic, earth-centered traditions in the mythology.
-- Deena Metzger, author of Writing Your Life

 An invaluable resource and rich treasury for people of European and varied backgrounds to reclaim their inherent mythic roots and Earth-honoring wisdom.
-- Angeles Arrien, author of The Four-Fold Way and Signs of Life.

This book is a guide to the next step in the effort of Europeans and Euro-Americans to heal ourselves, our sad society, and the Earth: recovering ourselves as Earth-centered peoples. I take strength from the Well of Remembrance; it leads me to and through my long-buried lineage.
-- Chellis Glendinning, author of My Name is Chellis, and I'm in Recovery from Western Civilization.

 Metzner explains that by listening to and reflecting on these ancient forest gods of our ancestors we may once again drink from the well of remembrance in order to know our place within the ongoing life of Nature and thus stop the destruction of both our human life and the forests."
-- Dolores LaChapelle, author of Sacred Land, Sacred Sex.


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