“Primary sources allow researchers to get as close as possible to original ideas, events and empirical studies as possible. Such sources may include expositions of creative ideas, first hand or contemporary accounts of events, publication of the results of empirical observations or studies, and other items that may form the basis of further research.”
While reviewing a number of University websites, I found the above definition. The most accurate part for Heathens is the “ability to get as close as possible” – as there is nothing written that was directly from the times of our ancestors when their worldview was the norm. The closest items that we have in that category are documents like the Prose and Poetic Eddas and the Sagas. There are other things, however, that shed information on the way the world looked and was understood a thousand years ago – linguistic studies, grave goods, archeological finds.
A healthy understanding of these sources, and what they tell us about how Heathenry existed so long ago, allows us to better utilize the secondary sources that are made available today.