For the first time in history, over 1000 years,
the Viking lore has been revealed.
“I greatly enjoyed The Vikings’ Secret Yoga. This is a ground-breaking book on a par with The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. The clear links between the Vikings and other parts of the world are laid out in an eye-opening way.
If you are interested in the secrets that link ancient societies this book is recommended. I am fascinated by the secrets hidden in the past and how they affect us to this day. This book is a must-read for all interested in these subjects.”
Laurence O’Bryan, author of The Istanbul Puzzle mystery series; owner BooksGoSocial
With their secretive poetic lore and mysterious pantheon of gods led by Odin the All-Father; Thor, the great Hammer-Striker; and Loki, the Evil One, it is almost impossible not to love the Vikings. But there are even more fans of the multi-faceted yoga systems devised by the ancient Hindustani in India more than five thousand years ago. Steven A. Key makes the case that transcendental yoga has not only endured over the millennia, but that it has traveled in different forms of spiritual or religious expression.
Drawing on the writings of Joseph Campbell, the famous mythologist who hinted at a link between the cultures of the Eastern Hindus and the Northern Vikings, as well as other great thinkers, the author shows that yoga has influenced Buddhism, Christianity, and yes – even the tenth-century Vikings.
Are you a fan of the Truth?
If you enjoyed the writings of Eckhart Tolle, the mythology of Joseph Campbell, Deepak Chopra’s eastern teachings, and Graham Hancock’s books on prehistoric civilizations, then you are sure to love the deep, provocative books of The New Muse Series.
~ The Vikings Secret Yoga;The Supreme Adventure ~ is the first release and is the first time in history that the Viking lore has been revealed. Believe in the New Muse and Enjoy!
About the Author
Steven A. Key, in a former technological life, had a career taming the largest computer systems in the world—those rascally mainframes folks often hear about. As a deep-researching computerist and technocrat, he was readily primed to combine his investigative skills with his deep personal interests in all things pertaining to body-mind and spirit. Combining unique approaches to neuroscience, psychology, consciousness, and ancient history, Steven created the New Muse Book Series. His initial book, The Vikings Secret Yoga; The Supreme Adventure, is the first book of its kind in that it reveals the hidden Yoga of the tenth-century Norse poets. This secret has been extremely well kept and is now revealed anew for the first time in over a thousand years, via the skeleton key of Raja Yoga.
A NEW MUSE Note:
You know how little while we have to stay.
The Way You go up is the Way You came
Down. The Labyrinth is in You Now.
The Vikings Secret Yoga: The Supreme Adventure
The Table of Contents ~ Chapter Titles:
Chapter 1: Odin and the Mysterious Vikings of the Poetic Edda
Chapter 2: How Odin Lost His Eye
Chapter 3: Entering into the Secrets of the Edda
Chapter 4: Einherjar, the Great Spirit-Warriors
Chapter 5: Socrates in Rage
Chapter 6: Elkhart’s Journey of Discovery
Chapter 7: The Curious Cosmology of the East and North
Chapter 8: Elkhart and Ragnard
Chapter 9: Ymir: The First Sacrifice
Chapter 10: The Marvelous Secrets of the Feuds between the Gods
Chapter 11: Elkhart and the Lessons of the Fates
Chapter 12: Yggdrasil, the Norse Cosmic Tree of the World
Chapter 13: Abraham’s Trees
Chapter 14: Odin Lost: The Name-Change Game
Chapter 15: Elkhart: Two Friends and the Moon River
Chapter 16: The Waker, Dreamer, and Sleeper
Chapter 17: The Lost Vibratory Sound
Chapter 18: How to Chain a Fame-Wolf
Chapter 19: The Dream Psychology of Dwarves
Chapter 20: Panpsychism and Extended Sentience
Chapter 21: The Varangian Vikings and the Byzantine Empire
Chapter 22: Elkhart: In the Hall of the Emperor-King
Chapter 23: Going Beyond Myth: The True Halycon Call of Heimdal
Chapter 24: A New Meaning for Yggdrasil, the World Tree
Chapter 25: Mimr: The Creature of Memory
Chapter 26: Ragnarök and the Kali Yuga
Chapter 27: Maya, Loka, and the Hel-Roads of Loki
Chapter 28: Elkhart Meets Ahlesz at the Bazaar
Chapter 29: Back from the Dead!
Chapter 30: Of Red Deer and Dragons
Chapter 31: The Hanging of Odin
Chapter 32: Dasha-Rajnya: The Earliest World War
Chapter 33: The Return of Elkhart the Keen
Chapter 34: Conclusions
The Vikings Secret Yoga: Introduction
As a young boy, I was entranced by books about the mythologies of past cultures such as the Greeks, the Norse, and many Eastern literatures. As a child growing up in Germany, I was especially fond of Thor; he represented all the simple virtues and strengths that a young fellow could want. Back then, I treated the Thor myth in a fanciful-fantasy fashion, not unlike those today who go to movie theaters to see new versions of the handsome, rugged, modernized Thor. Like those souls watching the latest cinematic version of Thor and his godly friends and enemies, I had no idea that there actually was a deep spiritual and neuropsychological underpinning to a certain secretive portion of the old, original Norse lore called the Poetic Edda. This spiritual underpinning, with its heavy Yogic meaning, is far more entrancing than any mere cinematic display. And it’s been a well-kept secret, for a thousand years.
In various parts of the world today, there are many passionate lovers of the mysterious Vikings and their secretive poetic lore, which involves an even more mysterious pantheon of gods led by Odin, the All-Father; Thor, the great Hammer-Striker; Loki, the Evil One; and Heimdal, the Cosmic Horn Blower. There are even more passionate lovers of the multifaceted Yoga systems devised by the ancient Hindustani in India over five thousand years ago. It is this author’s opinion that transcendental Yoga has not only endured over the millennia but has also anonymously traveled in different forms of spiritual or religious expression. Yoga has overtly and covertly spread to all corners of the globe and is an essential feed to other spiritual systems, such as Buddhism, even Christianity, and in our specific case, the tenth-century Vikings. This Yogic cultural diffusion is a primary theme in this book. A second, closely following theme is that early Yoga, Buddhist and Viking spiritual teachings, through the vehicle of poems, chants, and literature, follow a discernable neural pattern, known in modern neuroscience as brain lateralism, or the studies of the brain’s components, especially the left and right hemispheres. The proper interaction between these often-warring brain components is a primary purpose, or goal, of Yogic spiritual connection with one’s deepest nature.
While brilliant and symbolically secretive, the Poetic Edda, composed in the tenth century AD, can be thought of as a work created by many unknown Norse bard-authors returning from their various travels to faraway lands and then assembling the various Edda poems like a series of hoary postcards collected over several centuries. With our new alternative explanations suggesting that the Poetic Edda contains many hidden elements of ancient Yoga and Hindu culture, the implications are immense. Due to the limitations of space, we will not cover each stanza of each poem of the Poetic Edda but only those found most significant in our Yoga and Viking discussion. (The appendix contains a reference to the online version of those poems in the Edda that are referenced in this book.)
In the 1930s, author J. R. R. Tolkien, in writing his Lord of the Rings fictional anthology, gave Gandalf the Wizard his intriguing character after reading in the Poetic Edda of Odin as a wise, shamanic wanderer.
In going further, however, as we shall see, the legend of Odin and the Norse gods is both a fictional myth and a cleverly hidden nonfiction allegory of deep reality, as brilliantly expressed by the Norse poet-warriors. When we mention Yoga in this book, we are not addressing all forms of Yoga with their various beliefs, postures, and asanas but rather that deepest god-knowledge that is often referred to as transcendental Raja Yoga.
To clearly hear this story, we must lay aside the common notion of the tenth-century Viking culture as a barbaric, marauding culture of Iceland and Scandinavia, as is normally taught in academic textbooks and depicted on the cinema screen.
Also, in the 1930s, Professor Albert Bates Lord of Harvard University studied the art of storytelling from both the field transcripts of European oral bards and the texts of old classics such as The Odyssey and Beowulf. Professor Lord observed that the original authors of ancient stories often created hidden meanings behind an outer story line. Later, as scribes rewrote these texts, they were often unaware of the hidden, symbolic expressions tucked away in the cryptic verses. He also found that a large portion of the stories he studied were slowly changed during the oral retelling. Bards, it seems, often cannot resist a little embellishment of an old, beloved tale.
In this book, the Norse tales are seen in this way. There is an obvious outer story line that carries along the more important, inward hidden meaning of the tale. The breathtaking inner theme of Eastern Yoga is being expressed in the Poetic Edda in a rather cryptic fashion; however, this encryption was likely intended.
These hidden “story themes” may even represent deep universal truths since we will be discussing deep Yoga concepts encrypted as Viking
poems. German language experts usually separate ancient oral stories into two main groups: Märchen and Sagen, two words for which there are no exact English equivalents. Märchen stories consist of loosely translated fairy tales taking place in a different once-upon-a-time world and pointing to nowhere in particular. They clearly indicate that they are not to be understood as true, but rather are symbolic of a deeper truth. Sagen stories, on the other hand, are supposed to have actually happened, in the historical sense. In the case of the traveling Norse bards, they purposely encrypted their deepest, most secret spiritual knowledge in a mixture of the Märchen and Sagen styles of bard storytelling.
Tolkien popularized the term mythopoeia, which is taken from the Greek μυθοποιία, or “myth-making.” In early usages, it referred to the making of myths in ancient times. It was adopted and used by Tolkien as a title of one of his poems, which popularized the word mythopoeia as a literary and artistic endeavor and genre.
More recently, author J. Nigro Sansonese has advanced a new hypothesis regarding the secretive nature of storytelling with his adaptation of the theory of mythopoesis. In his book The Body of Myth: Mythology, Shamanic Trance, and the Sacred Geography of the Body, Sansonese considers that early myth-making, beginning around 1000 BCE among the Indo-European peoples, may have resulted in a special knowledge called skull-wisdom. This skull-wisdom was imparted to young men at the time of puberty in secret initiation rituals. Was this the early meaning for the Norse poets, who became known as Skalds? Today, scholars say the word Skalds has no known origin, yet this unusual word appears aligned with skull-wisdom. The true inspiration for myth, Sansonese argues, lay in a raised, heightened awareness gained in deep meditation, such as that found in Yoga and shamanistic practices. The means of heightening consciousness were closely guarded meditative techniques orally communicated from teacher (adept) to student—in particular, techniques associated with the breathing process. The hoary methods would have appeared many thousands of years ago in the trance-inducing practices of prehistoric shamans but become ever more systemized, refined, and clarified over time. This is also apparent in the Norse mythology, as we shall see. A myth, then, according to Sansonese, is a veiled, culturally conditioned description of a trance-inducing technique and its resulting heightened spiritual awareness. Coming out of the trance, the shaman-poet attempts to remember and report on his poignant experience, usually poetically and with much symbolism. Dramatic portions of the Poetic Edda appear written in this way.
The deepness of these northern myths attempted to articulate what, in 1945, philosopher Aldous Huxley called the Perennial Philosophy. The Norse shaman-poets’ task was to shroud the mystical wisdom behind the outer practicality of a story. Thus, most of the Viking culture, as layfolk, actually believed in the Poetic Edda as a series of childlike tales and missed the greatness of the hidden spiritual saga. These Norse myths, humorously intended as mere entertainment for children and the witless, may later have been used as the fodder for a secretive Norse initiatory system, partially borrowed from the East. Much of the practical aim of a myth is instruction in what Sansonese calls “the art of dying.” Certainly, it is not coincidence that Plato wrote that life is but practice for dying. The brilliant, anonymous Viking poets appear well versed in this art, and the Yogic saga of life and death is a common theme in the mysterious Poetic Edda.
“Live happily and die majestically.” (Yogi B. K. S. Iyengar)
Sansonese considers that a mystical “death” is often triggered by the neural and endocrine systems during a trance state and therefore views all myths of all cultures as having a common authenticity. The resulting revelation, or “telling” of the adept’s own deep sacred experience, can only be told through the veils of symbolism and metaphor. Using the skeleton key of Raja Yoga, we can open the door to the long-held spiritual secrets of the Northern poets. I sincerely hope you enjoy and learn from The Vikings Secret Yoga ~ The Supreme Adventure, as a viable spiritual alternative to what has been offered before. Good reading to You.
Chapter 1 ~ Odin and the Mysterious Vikings of the Poetic Edda
To be sure, the Great Odin was a vaporous, godly ideal that many tenth-century Norse layfolk followed in a wide variety of ways. While Tolkien refers to Odin as a legendary wanderer like his Gandalf the Wizard, Odin the god had many other qualities, one of which was being extremely warlike. Like a battle-driven Odin, it is certainly true that the early Norse, those Icelandic and Scandinavian warrior-wanderers, were fierce beyond compare. In battle, they were without equal, regardless of the foes, as stated in the “Haraldskvaedi,” a ninth-century Viking poem.
The Berserks Howled,
Battle was on their Minds.
The Wolf-Skins Growled
and Shook their Spears.
These weird, wild ones were known as the berserkers for their alcoholic and hallucinogenic plant consumption. When taken prior to battle, the berserker potions drove out all fear and pain from the wild warriors’ minds during their vicious attacks upon neighboring peoples. In the transcendent rage state, brought on by their magic plants and psilocybin mushrooms, the berserker Viking dressed in wolf furs was nearly impervious in battle and for a short while was the most feared fighter in all of Europe. The warrior-shamans of the northern tribes developed fighting techniques based upon their ecstatic unification with certain ferocious totem animals, usually wolves or bears. This meant they could psychologically fight their enemies with the same relentless viciousness of those animals. They were unstoppable. The offshore berserker Viking ships, making quick landfall upon a waterfront village, instantly brought terror, pain, death, and slavery to those being attacked.
There was, however, a far more moderate, less vicious side to the Vikings of the eighth to eleventh centuries. The early Norse culture also engaged in extensive farming, regular trading, and peaceful adventures. They traveled far beyond the boundaries originally considered by earlier Norse scholars. As they spread throughout northern Europe, the patchwork of chieftain-led warlike tribes was never united, yet they called themselves the Norse. The term Viking generally refers to any Icelandic or Scandinavian group that went on long, seafaring expeditions, either for marauding or extended trade. They often fought aggressive Christians who were transgressing onto their territories with an odd, new religion. Today we know, without debate, that the Vikings, in moving to the far west, visited America far in advance of Columbus in 1492. Even more startling are the vast areas that the Vikings traversed in sailing to the south and eastern lands. They moved through modern-day Russia before landing in far-off Constantinople and possibly going even beyond to India. They traded slaves with the Arabic Khazars on the old Silk Road.
Here is a firsthand account of the Vikings, who were known as the Rus and Volga Vikings while in Russia. The words are from Ahmad ibn Fadlan, a tenth-century Arab traveler noted for his writings as the emissary of the caliph of Baghdad to the king of the Volga Bulgars. In AD 922, he wrote,
I have seen the Rus as they came on their merchant journeys and encamped by the Itil. I have never seen more perfect physical specimens, tall as date palms, blond and ruddy; they wear neither tunics nor kaftans, but the men wear a garment which covers one side of the body and leaves a hand free.
They are tattooed from “fingernails to neck” with dark blue or dark green “tree patterns” and other “figures.” Each man has an axe, a sword, and a knife, and keeps each by him at all times. Each woman wears on either breast a box of iron, silver, copper, or gold; the value of the box indicates the wealth of the husband. Each box has a ring from which depends a knife. The women wear neck-rings of gold and silver. Their most prized ornaments are green glass beads. They string them as necklaces for their women.
So, in the tenth century, the male Vikings did certainly resemble the modern depiction of the muscular, long-haired, blond Thor. They were a striking group to behold. Indeed, the Byzantine emperor in Constantinople employed a select group of Vikings, known as the Varangians, as his personal bodyguards. They became the elite military unit of the entire Byzantine army. In modern parlance, these Vikings were the baddest of the bad when it came to war and killing. Many of the Vikings’ expeditions were motivated by conquest, the lust for booty, and a general greed of gold. However, if a northern farmer’s crop failed, then that Norseman often had no choice but to leave family and farm to join the violent Viking campaigns that came to brand Norse history as being purely warlike.
Many Vikings, such as Ingvar the Far-Travelled and his warlike companions, died on their traveling quests—in his case Arabia—and never returned to their northern homelands. However, aside from a common Viking desire for plunder and conquest, it remains that a select few Norse warrior-shamans traveled for knowledge alone—secretive knowledge that they sometimes brought back from their journeys and imbued upon their mysterious rune stones. Runes are considered to have a secretive, whispered meaning imparted to them.
Rune stone from the Viking age.
We do not know what “wisdom” was carried with the Runes at that early date, but that in later times their mystic wisdom was of a generally Neoplatonic, Gnostic-Christian and Buddhist order is hardly to be doubted. (Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God)
In this book, we add the considerable influence of Raja Yoga to Campbell’s list of likely Viking influences. Like any religious literature, Norse mythology has undergone a variety of confabulations, mistranslations, and assimilation’s. These errors, similar to the poorly understood Bible of Christianity, result in only a faint glimmer of the original meanings and intent of the bards. The early Icelandic writings known as the Poetic Edda, which are contained in the Codex Regius in the Royal Library in Copenhagen, can still yield a few key perceptions. With knowledge stemming from the East, we can glean certain psychological truths and spiritual insights into the hidden nature of Norse legends. These northern people had no name for their amalgamated belief system, which consisted of a strange mix of Celtic, Germanic, Eastern, and Christian religious ideas and mystical experiences. The northern laypeople simply called it tradition to follow the likes of Odin, Thor, Freyr, and Loki; it was their religious smorgasbord.
Most Viking scholars stop at this juncture and ponder the Poetic Edda and the Norse gods as only fantastic myths of folklore, strongly associated with the simple angels and heavens of the Valkyries and Valhalla.
As in Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism, it is likely that most of the Viking lay culture, which lasted only a few hundred years, probably had no deep insight into the esoteric, spiritual nature of their own literature and beliefs. During this short expeditionary time, possibly even before the eighth century, a select few of the Norsemen, being travelers and shamanistic in nature, were learning of the ancient religions of the East. Recently, as witnessed in Sweden’s Museum of Natural History, a fifth-century Buddhist statue was found in a Viking archaeological cache, indicating to scholars that Buddhist knowledge and art had been making their way northward for quite some time.
End of Chapter 1 excerpt…