Asatru (or Ásatrú) is a religion which believes in the ancient Germanic spirits and Gods. It was officially recreated in the 1960s in Iceland, but its roots go back many thousands of years. The name comes from two words in a language called Old Norse. It means “faith in the Æsir.” The Æsir are the Germanic gods.
A person who practices Asatru is called an Asatruar, and is sometimes referred to as a heathen. If someone wants to talk about two or more followers of Asatru, they would say that they are Asatrufolk. Sometimes Asatru is also called Odinism, Wodinism, Wodanism, Wotanism or Germanic (neo)paganism.
Although there are many variations in beliefs and practices within this faith, Ásatrúers all share a defining personal loyalty to, or “Troth” with, the gods and goddesses of the North, such as Odin, Thor, Frigga, the land wights (spirits), and many others; a deep respect for their Germanic religious, cultural and historical heritage; and a strong determination to practice the moral principles followed by their predecessors.
Ásatrúers take their knowledge of the gods and the universe from “the lore” (the Prose Edda, the poems of the Poetic Edda, heroic and family sagas, the historical record, and folklore); from science (history, anthropology, linguistics, archaeology, etc.); and from their own analysis, insights, and revelations.
Ásatrúers work to establish and maintain right relationships with those around us: family, community, the gods (our elder kin), the natural world, and wyrd (fate). Ásatrú spirituality is not separate from everyday life, but informs it. Ásatrúers see Earth as living, or speak of her as personified by a deity.
Ásatrúers are true polytheists and know all the gods as real entities with separate and distinct, rounded personalities. Some Ásatrúers are called most strongly to the worship of one or more particular gods within the pantheon. Magic is not part of Ásatrú worship. In fact, many Ásatrúers don’t believe in magic at all.
Others, however, practice various kinds of workings (such as rune divination) as a supplement to their religious practices.
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Last updated: September 2, 2014 at 10:18 am
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