What is Asatru?
Long before Christianity came to northern Europe, the people there – our ancestors – had their own form of spirituality that influenced every aspect of their culture. One expression of this European spirituality was Asatru. It was practiced in the lands that are today Scandinavia, England, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and other countries as well. Asatru is the original, or native, religion for the peoples who lived in these regions. Nevertheless, Asatru is more than just a religion in the narrow sense of the word. It is our way of being in the world; some of us call it the “Germanic Folkway” to underline this larger concept.
What does the word “Asatru” mean?
It means, roughly, “belief in the Gods” or “those true to the Gods” in Old Norse, the language of ancient Scandinavia in which so much of our source material was written. (A more literal translation would be “gaining experience of the ancestral sovereign gods.”) Asatru is a name given to the religion of the Norsemen, but we use this term to include the spiritual worldview of all the Germanic peoples, not just the Scandinavians.
When did Asatru start?
Asatru is thousands of years old (though it is practiced in a modern form today, to meet the needs of our age). Its beginnings are lost in prehistory, but it is older than Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, or most other religions. The spirit it expresses, though, is as ancient as the northern European peoples themselves because it is an innate expression of who and what we are – not merely a set of arbitrary beliefs we have adopted.
You mentioned certain standards of behavior taught in Asatru. What are these?
Some of the qualities we hold in high regard are strength, courage, joy, honor, freedom, loyalty to kin, realism, vigor, and the revering of our ancestors. To express these things in our lives is virtuous, and we strive to do this. Their opposites – weakness, cowardice, adherence to dogma rather than to the realities of the world, and the like – constitute our vices and are to be avoided. Proper behavior in Asatru consists of maximizing one’s virtues and minimizing one’s vices.
This code of conduct reflects the highest and most heroic ideals of our people.
Don’t all religions believe in these things you’ve just named?
No. People may honestly believe that this is the case, but examination does not bear this out. They believe in freedom on the one hand, yet at the same time admit they are slaves to their God. They agree that joy is good, but their teachings laden them with guilt because of some imaginary “original sin.” They want to accept the real world on a pragmatic basis, yet they are trained to believe without questioning when the teachings of their religion conflict with reason or with known facts about the nature of the world (“You must have faith.”).
Of course, many people believe in the values of Asatru on a gut level. After all, they’re instinctive, passed down to us from our ancestors. We want to believe that the better-known religions espouse those values, so we see what we want to see. Most people just haven’t yet realized that the major religions are saying things that conflict with the values we know in our hearts are right. To find European virtues, one has to look to a religion truly consistent with those virtues – Asatru.
What do you have to say about good and evil?
Good and evil are not constants. What is good in one case will not be good in another, and evil in one circumstance will not be evil under a different set of conditions. In any one instance, the right course of action will have been shaped by the influence of the past and the present. The result may or may not be “good” or “evil,” but it will still be the right action.
In no case are good and evil dictated to us by edicts written by an authoritarian deity. We are expected to use our freedom, responsibility, and awareness of duty to serve the highest and best ends.
What does Asatru teach about an afterlife?
We believe that there is an afterlife, and that those who have lived lives of virtue and power will go on to experience greater fulfillment, pleasure, and challenge. Those who have led lives characterized by vice, weakness, and a low level of consciousness will be separated from kin, doomed to a vegetative state of dullness and gloom. The precise nature of the afterlife – what it will look like and feel like – is beyond our understanding and is dealt with symbolically in the myths.
There is also a tradition in Asatru of rebirth within the family line. Perhaps the individual is able to choose whether or not he or she is re-manifested in this world, or there may be natural laws governing this. In a sense, of course, we all live on in our descendants quite apart from an afterlife as such.
To be honest, we of Asatru do not overly concern ourselves with the next world. We live here and now, in this existence. If we do this and do it well, the next life will take care of itself.
Does Asatru involve ancestor worship?
Asatru says we should honor our ancestors. It also says we are bonded to those ancestors in a special way. One of the implications of this relationship is that the ancestors need our veneration, and that they reciprocate by looking out for us from beyond death.
We also believe our forebears have passed to us certain spiritual qualities just as surely as they have given us various physical traits. They live on in us. The family or clan is above and beyond the limits of time, space, and mortality.
Does Asatru have a holy book, like the Bible?
No. There are written sources that are useful to us because they contain much of our sacred lore in the form of myths and examples of right conduct, but we do not accept them as infallible or inspired documents. Any religion holding such beliefs of infallibility is deceived about the purity and precision of the written word.
There are two real sources of holy truth, and neither expresses itself to us in words. One is the universe around us, which is a manifestation of the underlying divine essence. The other is the universe inside us, passed down from our ancestors as instinct, emotion, innate predispositions, and perhaps even racial memory. By combining these sources of internal and external wisdom with the literature left us by our ancestors, we arrive at religious truths. This living spiritual guidance is better than any dusty, dogmatic “holy book”.
I’ve heard Asatru described as a “Nature religion”. What does that mean?
We treasure the spiritual awe, the feeling of “connecting” with the Gods and Goddesses, which can come from experiencing the beauty and majesty of Nature. Our deities act in and through natural law. By working in harmony with Nature we can become co-workers with the Gods. This attitude removes the opposition between “natural” and “supernatural”, and the supposed conflict between religion and science.
For us, following a “Nature religion” means recognizing that we are part of Nature, subject to all its laws. We may be Gods-in-the-making, but we are members of the animal kingdom nonetheless!
Where did the universe come from, according to Asatru?
Our myths describe the beginning of the universe as the unfolding of a natural process, rather than an event requiring supernatural intervention. Followers of Asatru need not abandon modern science to retain their religion. The old lore of our people describes the interaction of fire and ice, and the development of life from these – but this is symbolic, and we will leave it to the physicists to discover how the universe was born.
What are the runes, and what do they have to do with Asatru?
Runes are ancient Germanic symbols representing various concepts or forces in the universe – the holy mysteries. Taken together, they express our ancestors’ worldview. Their meanings are intimately connected with the teachings of Asatru. Our myths tell the story of how Odin, father of the Gods, won them through painful ordeal so that Gods and humans alike might benefit from their wisdom.
How is Asatru organized?
There is no all-powerful spiritual leader who speaks for all of Asatru, but there are numerous leaders who speak to and for their particular constituencies. While Asatru has definite principles accepted by most of our adherents, we generally allow a considerable degree of freedom in interpreting religious truth.
wiccan hate thread
Anyone else pumped for Varg's new book? It just came out a few days ago! I just put in my order this afternoon.
The cover isn't as snappy as Sorcery and Religion, but I hope the content is just as good.
I got the book not too long ago, & I have also read 'Germansk mytologi og verdensanskuelse', which was quite interesting as well.
He brings up several things that got me thinking, but I still take most of what he writes with several grains of salt. I'd recommend reading it, but I'd also warn people that he tends to draw faulty conclusions & work his belief-system into fitting with the Norse mythology.
“I am afraid, my dear Watson, that most of your conclusions were erroneous. When I said that you stimulated me I meant, to be frank, that in noting your fallacies I was occasionally guided towards the truth.”
— Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles
A rare sighting of Thor crossing the bridge to Valhalla.
Photographed in Leipzig, Germany.
But Þórr cannot ride across Bifrǫst with his wagon…
So I am an avid fan of mead and drinking mead. To the point where I am currently brewing two one gallon batches of my own mead.
Anyone else like mead or are brewing mead? If so what brand do you drink or what recipe are you brewing?
Do you use mead for blots? Or drink it on holidays?
Been wanting to make this thread for a while. Just a general thread on what your diet looks like,suggestions, and stuff to help combat allergies, illness, muscle pains, etc
Been using Alive Men's One a day and been getting more energy and generally feel better. Also my receded hairline is growing back somewhat due to Saw Palmetto which is included in the multivitamin.
Also been using Dr. Teals for muscle aches and pains it helps a lot.
Also taking fish oil, apple cider vinegar, and broth.
Gaelic, Gaulish Irish or Brythonic paganism thread.
ITT we collect everything related to vocal ritual worship of the gods.
Prayer texts, prayer beads et cetera are all welcome ITT.
Recital in Old Norse from the original Edda text, Voluspa (The Sibyls Prophecy or Divination of the Witch)
Voluspa 1-4 Poetic Edda Recital in Old Norse
Voluspa as recited by Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson
This is a documentary about Europe's last unbroken pagan tradition. In ancient times, people of most ethnic groups used to pray like the Mari El pagans do to this day. These people are so loyal to their gods that their belief survived both the Christian expansion and the ban on all religions during Soviet times.
I demand an official stance on race mixing before I waste time investing in this board. Are you wiccan or are you folkish? Choose one and only one.
Obligatory reminder that mongrels hate racemixers and racemixing. A firm stance against it would be appreciated.
Obligatory reminder that mongrels hate racemixers and racemixing. A firm stance against it would be appreciated.
Sorry if this ends up getting posted 3 times, but I can't see my previous posts and having read the rest of the thread the support for it looks worrying.
Racemixing is disgusting and those who participate in it will be punished by having their psyche destroyed with the guilt they have wasting their years where they could have had children like their ancestors but instead chose to have abominations that are psychologically broken and commit cruel crimes.
All racemixing should cease to be and the arab, black, white, gypsy, paki, and asian should never protcreate with one another. Never, not even once.
There's no support in this thread for racemixing.
The "looks White, acts White" standard is good enough until we win.
Jews are the most dangerous infiltrators. The best background check is lifetime friendship. If you know someone's extended family you can usually rule out any significant jew blood.
Once we're in charge we can develop standards for DNA testing setting a maximum allowable level of non-european ancestry.