Honest cheesemongering (or the perils of shopping for knowledge).

Written by Einar V. Bj. Maack skáld of Hvergelmir International

Today’s society is far different from what it was a millennium ago, a century ago or even just a couple of decades ago.

The free flow of information has made it easier for us all to share our thoughts and knowledge at the flick of a finger.

At the same time we have, at the tips of our fingers, access to the accumulated knowledge of our species through the centuries. Well. Aside from knowledge that was suppressed, books that were burned, or the verbal folklore of people that were burned.

This is where the reconstruction of Heathenry meets a problem, as knowledge of pre-Christian religion is riddled with holes like some sort of a particularly airy Jarlsberg cheese.

People that subscribe, or rather, wish to subscribe to their ancestral faiths and folkways have a lot of work put out for them, and even then, sometimes the details are simply not known.

However, given that one can afford oneself the luxury of time to study, accumulating knowledge on any subject is relatively easy.

But, there are holes in the lore, and depending on the area and period one looks for knowledge about. Nobody knows for certain the name of Njörðr’s wife or whether the eagle on top of Yggdrasil had a name.

There are theories. But there’s no certainty. There are holes in the Jarlsberg cheese.

Our holiest of cheeses.
Our holiest of cheeses.

In modern society, everybody has the opportunity to share their ideas or sell their wares. The information revolution of the passed two decades has made it possible to share our thoughts, as I mentioned before, at the flick of a wrist or the shaking of a finger.

But in this modern world of instant gratification there are and will always be those that are not willing to put in the work to accumulate knowledge or hone the craft of cheese-mongering. Those not willing to put in the work to make a quality product.

By cheese, I’m of course talking about heathenry, and not, as it were, an actual dairy product, for those of you upon whom metaphors are lost, and by cheese-mongering, I’m talking about the distribution and sharing of knowledge, of lore. Of Heathenry.

The Cheese-shop of knowledge.
The Cheese-shop of knowledge.

Not everybody is meant to be a cheese-monger and not everybody wants to.

However there are those that do want to run their own cheese-shop, yet are not willing to put in the work it takes to sell genuine quality products, but it doesn’t stop them presenting their unverified and frankly unauthentic ideas disingenuously as selling canned spray-cheese as Jarlsberg.

So, I intend here to list out the most common contaminants or fake produce sold as Jarlsberg Heathen, whilst decidedly not.

Cottage Cheese.

Home made!
Home made!

There is nothing wrong with Cottage-Cheese. Home made theories based on what you’ve studied, as long as you’re willing to better your recipe with more knowledge as you grow.

I’m talking about UPG. Almost everyone has UPG. Some theories based on connections you make when you read, when you study.

There’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s actually quite healthy. Just as long as you remember to mark it as your home-made cottage cheese.


One of the most common cheese stuffed into the holes in Heathen lore seems to come from modern entertainment rather than anything else.

Ideas from the Marvel universe, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, J. Cameron’s Avatar or the inaccurately named History channels Vikings.

I can't believe it's not spartl!
I can’t believe it’s not spartl!

Some of these things are quite alright or even excellent as entertainment and if you like these things, all power to you, enjoy. I enjoy all of these things for what they are. But it still doesn’t mean that these things are accurate or even relevant to Heathenry.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying artificial cheddar on the side, or even melting Jarlsberg and cheddar together on your toast.

It’s just that canned cheddar and Jarlsberg are not the same thing and shouldn’t be conflated.


Some people see the holes in lore as an opportunity to insert their political agendas into Heathenry.

Whilst people would notice this German cheese that smells like feet that have been kept in wehrmacht boots on a particularly long hike in the rain inserted into a mild cheese like Jarlsberger, there are still people that are able to sell their political agendas stuffed Heathenry.

Smells like Wehrmacht boots.
Smells like Wehrmacht boots.

The people that do this obviously have their reasons – no matter how strange they may seem to the rest of us, but never the less, these politics are not relevant to the reconstruction of Heathen practice and is frankly detrimental, as it sheds the unpalatable and frankly nausea inducing scent of White Supremacism over Heathenry.

Babybel Cheeses.

Sweet Baby Cheeses. For the past centuries the majority of the western world has adhered to some sort of Christianity.

Some people put all their faith in baby cheesus.
Some people put all their faith in baby cheesus.

It’s not my intention to use this list to criticize or slag that religion. That’s not the purpose even though the holes in Lore are more or less due to the entrance of said Cheeses (Christ) on the market of divinity.

The influence said religion has had on the world is however immeasurable and therefor it’s understandable, that such a mass- marketed products influence is somewhat present. 

People that think that Baldur is a savior or that Óðinn is an ever-loving sky-daddy have decidedly been influenced by Christianity in the tradition of its cultural imperialism.

Which brings us to…


Other people see these holes as an opportunity to insert their genitalia into the holes in the Jarlsberg of Heathenry.

It goes without saying that most people would not buy something with such a musty odor and color so vastly different from the mild, airy Norwegian breakfast favorite as Jarlsberg or a Jarlsberg with something so noticeably different stuffed into it’s holes.

However, there are people that feel the need to insert Heathenry into their sexual organs, or their sexual organs into heathenry, and these people get support.

Very unrealistic depiction.
Very unrealistic depiction.

I can not even pretend to understand why people feel the need to act as if they regularly have sex with gods or are married to gods. Maybe said people are very, very lonely. Maybe they didn’t receive enough attention in childhood, but aside from the obvious Abrahamic nun/monk implications and possibility of genuine mental issues such as delusions of grandeur/adequacy/relevancy.

I’m not saying that you’re not allowed to fantasize sexually about the gods.

It’s just that your sexual fantasies have nothing to do with Heathenry.

In conclusion.

Whilst there are international laws prohibiting presenting products from one place as another, or indeed selling some diluted and polluted version as the genuine pure article not everyone seems to understand the importance of authenticity when it comes to cultural or religious knowledge.

You are not allowed to sell your home-brewed sparkly wine as champagne.

You are not allowed to sell brandy as Cognac unless it’s made in that province.

I want to appeal to your common sense my dear readers.

You shouldn’t, and hopefully wouldn’t buy Jarlsberg that smells funny

– if it does it’s mislabeled.

Why would you treat your heathen lore differently?

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