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Ulfhednar and Berserkers 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:15 am
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I've been reading different accounts on Berserkers and Ulfhednar and have a few questions.

Firstly, are there any more differences between the two other than the pelt worn? Tactics? Weapons, etcetera?

Secondly, I know Odin is associated with Wolves, but have never seen him associated with Bears? Are there any instances of this? I have also read that Bears are a symbol of Thor- any instances of this?

Thank you for your time, brothers.


Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:27 pm
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It is my understanding that they were two different warrior societies/cults. Different tactics and different uses. One fought alone on the battlefield as basically a shock & awe weapon while the other worked as part of a "pack" both in combat and on what we would consider special operations - scouting, surveillance, raids and ambushes, etc.


Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:45 pm
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Thank you, Tyrsman.

Does anyone else have amy insights or links?


Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:39 am
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I wish I did, but this topic is as new to me as seeing it on the forum as you posted it. I am looking forward to reading more on it as well.


Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:43 am
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In the Volsunga Saga, one of the opening stories in it is about how the only living son of King Volsungs 9 sons hid in an underground house for years in the woods. Later on he gets his sister pregnant after she uses magic to appear to be someone else. When their son gets old enough he goes to live with his father in the woods. They put wolves pelts on and go out together taking what they needed form people and killing the slayer of their family together. It never actually calls them Ulfhednar, but that sure is what it reads like. Good luck in your search.


Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:15 pm
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Hail to all my Brothers & Sisters of Odin,

Wolf and Bear are both Totem animals. You
can pick one or both. In life I am a lone wolf.
I don't run around wearing wolf skins or any
thing like that but socially I have my pack,
my family and I protect them at all costs.

The wolf is alone. He is not burdened by
social beliefs. His only society is his pack.
He does not walk the paths of the herd
but rather takes his own path. He is very
strong but very intelligent.

Mess with him or his family and he will
destroy you. If not by himself, his pack
will more then happily avenge any **.

The bear archetype to me is the vicious
and savage power I use when in physical
combat. During violence I am a bear and
I have knocked many people out multiple times
it's basically what I expect every punch.
They drop. Or, it takes a second one. Then
they drop.

The Bear Archetype is that of a loner
wandering animal that lives according
to it's own will. It will protect it's family
with it's life. Messing with Bear's kin is
a huge mistake and he will overpower
you and will not stop until you are
incapacitated. However , he lives a
humble life but is King if tested. He
only uses violence for his kin and his
own survival.

The power gained from Bear archetype
is intense power for myself personally
speaking. Wolf and Bear are the two
major archetypes too invoke when you
need power..

Bucky


Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:43 pm
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Interestingly enough I just finished watching a program on the History Channel that addressed not only Thor, Loki and Ragnarok but also berserkers, both historical and modern. It does not go into a great amount of detail but I would say it is worth watching if you have the opportunity, for the various opinions espoused if nothing else. It was on the Gods and Monsters episode of True Monsters, which examines the origins of folk tales, myths, and legends.


Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:39 am
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Tyrsman wrote:
Interestingly enough I just finished watching a program on the History Channel that addressed not only Thor, Loki and Ragnarok but also berserkers, both historical and modern. It does not go into a great amount of detail but I would say it is worth watching if you have the opportunity, for the various opinions espoused if nothing else. It was on the Gods and Monsters episode of True Monsters, which examines the origins of folk tales, myths, and legends.


I will give it a watch. Sounds rather intriguing


Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:42 am
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As my understanding is the Ulfhednargangr were shaman warriors of Odin and their rites were in Odins name,
and the Berserkergangr we're shaman warriors of Thor.


Sat Dec 05, 2015 12:14 am
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This is an interesting topic. A lot of emphasis on wolves and bears as we currently understand them in a "totemic" sense seems logical, but I think Locke is interested in identifying an anchoring point for ritualization (Catherine Bell). If we look at bears and wolves from the perspective of ancient Europe we might see something of an inversion of the values we typically associate with each animal. The grumpy bears and noble wolves of current public imagination do not account for the ferocious (if not glutinous) personalities of Fenrir, Geri, and Freki. Further, one should consider why the Christian missionaries felt the spiritual need to annihilate all bears from the northern lands during the process of conversion. I suspect that the association with Wolves is an association with a liminal status (among the people of the Gods), a tertiary position to the traditional ways and the ways of the invaders. Returning to Allfather, for a moment, we should recognize his relationship to Geri and Freki as one of dominance and not brotherhood. To better, if not still clumsily, round off my thoughts I would conclude that the bears were adopted as symbols of the larger social body, not the periphery. Any differentiation between the two would likely center on Loki's approach (wolves, broadly speaking) and Odin's approach (bears, also broadly).

Do remember that the ways of the Gods begin with the Gods and us: all living beings. Symbols and comparisons are tools we use to understand the Gods, but we must be cautious to never equate our Gods with inanimate ideas, thoughts, or symbols.
Cheers,
r


Fri Dec 18, 2015 3:28 am
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Not too sure how to use quotes on the forum, but Bucky stated a few posts above:

"The Bear Archetype is that of a loner
wandering animal that lives according
to it's own will. It will protect it's family
with it's life. Messing with Bear's kin is
a huge mistake and he will overpower
you and will not stop until you are
incapacitated. However , he lives a
humble life but is King if tested. He
only uses violence for his kin and his
own survival."

I love this description and believe it is spot on. I venerate the bear and always carry a small carved stone shaped into a bear to help me focus my mind and spirit.


Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:31 pm
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