Wednesday, 28 June 2017


"'I will raise a nithing-staff and curse whoever did this, but I need a sword to do the work.'"
-SM Stirling, The Sword Of The Lady (New York, 2009), Chapter Eighteen, p. 557.

What is a nithing-staff? See here.
Surely cursing is a misuse of mental energy?
Does the Law of Threefold Return not apply?
If a sword is necessary for vengeance, then was the curse itself not effective?


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

But the Norrheim of what used to be the state of Maine were believers in the Scandinavian gods. Iow, a grimmer, harsher kind of neo-pagan. Feuds, vendettas, the seeking of revenge, etc, was very much a part of the old culture the Norrheim were drawing on for inspiration. And that would affect how they treated enemies, esp. enemies they strongly hated!

As for why the curser needed a sword to make his curse effective, I would put that down to him needing PARAPHERNALIA to make it work.


S.M. Stirling said...

Strictly speaking, Asatru are -reconstructionists-; that is, they try to recreate the ancient Norse faith as closely as possible. There's a joke that it's a religion which begins with a degree in ethnology. Theologically, that makes them very different from Wiccans.

Paul Shackley said...

Mr Stirling,
I understand the appeal. Polytheism appeals to my imagination although not to my intellect. The world seems to be full of rigorous thinkers who have no understanding of spiritual practice but also of spiritual practitioners who have no respect for intellectual clarity. In the Zen group, I benefit from advice on the practice of meditation but I become critical when someone says not only that the Buddha was compassionate but that the universe is!

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

Asatru are "reconstructionists"? But that would seem to bear out my impression their brand of neo-paganism tends to be grimmer and harsher than other kinds of neo-heathen.