Bragi’s Corner – The Terrible One’s Horse: Revealing the Secret of Norse Myths by August Hunt
Based on the October 2012 Print Edition
August Hunt’s book has been on my to-read list for nearly 2 years. Sadly, it always fell down the list, or went into the “Later Bin” when I needed a break for the constantly influx of PDFs and academia around Asatru and Germanic Heathenry. Not to mention the scores of UPG and spiritual workings of those who work with the gods.
A lucky week in Amazon allowed me to pick up a few books of Asatru I’d been wanting to read for awhile, and Mr. Hunt’s work was included with some cultural, spiritual and academic Heathen books.
First, and sadly, I’ve never had a lengthy exchange with August Hunt. I would like to after reading his work here, which is what it appears to be a collection of online essays and/or blog posts based on his beliefs on cultural and spiritual workings of Germanic tribes.
Second, the book has only one real flaw – it’s loses some of the points of the author with massive amounts of academic “jargon” to make the author’s point. While I look for a balance in work (academic AND spiritual), August Hunt’s work starts with a proposed idea, academia to support his idea and a conclusion which sometimes seems lost (especially his chapter on Solar/Lunar & Berserk/Ulfheðnar). I will admit the sheer amount of C&P from sources makes chapters seem a bit bloated.
This book does offer IMHO some of the best researched interpretations of cultural and spiritual beliefs of the Germaic people. While I don’t agree with all of them, the book does in many areas nail down the author’s point and delivers it with clarity. The subject matter covered from Nazi perversion of our symbols to the meaning of the Valknut makes this book a MUST HAVE on any Heathen bookshelf. The chapter on modern faerie belief really needs to be posted on every social media source available.
Ive noticed many books published by self-publishing applications seem to be collections of blog posts, essays and social media posts of the author or author’s friends. While this is great, and these ideas should be preserved, there are reasons editiors will proof read work and sometimes not even publish a novel or book. Of the self published books Ive read, Mr. Hunt’s book offered some difficult times on the eyes and mind when I was seeking the point of some of his chapters, but unlike many self-published books, Mr. Hunt does not fall into the habit of fluff. He does not interject page upon page of lore from public domain sources, or unsupported UPG being presented as fact.
The Terrible One’s Horse offers a etymological & academic take on the author’s own views of Germanic Heathenry and does it in a way where critics cannot call it or him “fluffy”. And this is a plus. The book is not a devotional to Odin, or any of the gods, nor does it try to take the reader down a made up path practice based on nothing. I can honestly say the book is extremely honest, well thought out and put together, and only suffering from some lack of professional editting.
This is bring my largest critical complaint – the focus on solar/lunar on essentially every aspect of spirituality. It seems this is the main idea of everything for the author. Odin, Slepnir, Yggdrassil – it’s all solar/lunar and symbolism. The gods and the lore are essentially all tools to express life/death/rebirth/solar/lunar/changing of the seasons. This would be IMHO the only UPG from the author.
This review is hard to type, as Ive own the book for awhile and have had to start re-reading it a few times and re-read chapters. There are times a heathen wants a work to be based not on PDFs, academics and the study of names and places. This book will leave you hungry for spirituality, but offer you great insight on some of the most commonly used imagery in modern Heathenry and that makes it essential.
~Thorendahl Freyrsson Songhammer