Sometimes Asatru is also called Wodanism, Wotanism or Germanic paganism . Norse Gods Asatru is a website devoted to sharing information about both the historic and the modern practice of Asatru, the Heathen religion.We freely share this knowledge with fellow Heathens and those interested in the culture and history of the Old Norse and Germanic peoples. Asatru is a religion. We think and feel more like they did; our basic needs are most like theirs. Any religion which does this is deceiving its members about the purity and precision of the written word. 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 which govern this. Nor do we beg and plead. A modern day Icelandic poet, Goði Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson, promoted government recognition of Asatru as a legitimate religion. This meeting was held on the First Day of Summer, a unique Icelandic holiday which marks the end of winter and beginning of summer. Its beginnings are lost in prehistory, but it is older than Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, or most other religions. It was abandoned in favor of Christianity in the year 1000, Almannagjá in Þingvellir In the year 1000 Alþingi, the legislative assembly of the Viking age commonwealth decreed that Iceland would abandon Ásatrú in favor of Christiantiy. Join our weekly hand curated newsletter to have all the latest news from Iceland sent to you. All the ceremonies of Ásatrúarfélagið are open to the general public. The gods are imperfect and not divine. We inherited not only their general physical appearance, but also their predominant mental, emotional, and spiritual traits. Alla jafna er boðið er upp á kaffi og létt spjall en öðru hverju fáum við skemmtilega og fróðlega fyrirlesara til okkar sem á einn eða annann hátt tengjast sögu og menningu íslendinga. In a sense, of course, we all live on in our descendents quite apart from an afterlife as such. Or so it seemed! Asatru is not an earth religion we have a set of Gods and Goddesses that we warship that rule the earth baced things, they are called the Vaner. However, just as most Christians do not think their God is really an old bearded figure sitting on a golden chair in heaven, we do not believe Thor (for example) is actually a muscular, man-shaped entity carrying a big hammer. Asatru was subjected to a violent campaign of repression over a period of hundreds of years. MARKLANDER - Published by The Markland Asatru Assembly, PO Box 398118, Cambridge, MA 02139-0039. A person who practices Asatru is called an Asatrui (pl. Their instinct is to understand Nature's world from verifiable evidence, yet they are trained to believe black is white, round is flat, and natural instincts are evil without question when the teachings of their church conflict with reason or with known facts. It was practiced in the lands that are today Scandinavia, England, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and other countries as well. The Asatru Alliance is one of several groups operating in North America that continues the revival of Asatru (literally "faithfulness" to the Germanic deities) faith begun by the Asatru Free Assembly in the early 1970s. The different branches of humanity have different ways of looking at the world, each of which is valid for them. [note 3] Presumably when there are more than a dozen Asatruar widely known by these names, … Ásatrúarfélagið has other blót, including a Þorrablót in mid-winter. Slightly longer Basic Beliefs of Asatru The following are some things that help explain who Asatru are as people, and what they believe in. Photo/Stefán Karlsson. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are alien religions which do not truly speak to our souls. We do not contend that the myths are literally true, as history. Asatruar), and is sometimes referred to as a heathen. Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson The current High Priest, Allsherjargoði. Proudly made in Reykjavík City. Same sex couples come to Iceland with the sole purpose of being married in a Ásatrú ceremony. If you commit yourself to a life of living honorably and making a positive contribution to yourself, home, and community then you are following the principles that are set forth in Asatru. The temple is expected to be opened to the public in March 2018. During the first centuries of Icelandic history Christianity made further inroads, and by the end of the 10th century it was clear Ásatrú was on the retreat. A group of people who were either practitioners of the ancient religion or its students had been meeting for some time. No matter which religion someone claims, there is never a reason to degrade, shame, or otherwise be a jerk. 6. Our myths describe the beginning of the universe as the unfolding of a natural process, rather than one requiring supernatural intervention. Read more: The great mid-winter feast named Þorrablót, in honour of the Nordic god of thunder. Let us know! Members are environmentally aware and know that for Mother Earth to be be bountiful she must be cared for and nurtured. It costs nothing to join and is open to all, irrespective of race, cultural background, gender or sexual orientation. There are two real sources of holy truth, and neither expresses itself to us in words. 8. We live here and now, in this life. (Page of tag Asatru) Our ancestors and their predecessors prevailed through billions of years of unimaginable challenges, a feat which must awe even the Gods themselves. No. The other is the universe within us, passed down from our ancestors as instinct, emotion, innate predispositions, and perhaps even racial memory. It is not about imitating what `once might have been`. It is Iceland's fastest growing religion Asatru is a living religion, practiced by a rapidly growing number of people throughout the world. It's openness and philosophical character has led some to compare it to Unitarian Universalism. For us, following a "Nature religion" means recognizing that we are part of Nature, subject to all its laws, even when that offends our Christian-influenced misconceptions. The second highest office is Kjalnesingagoði "The Goði of Kjalarnesþing", which comprised the areas controlled by the descendants of Ingólfur Arnarson, the first settler of Iceland. How to become of age and then how to age.” True to this Ásatrú is a religion of respect and tolerance. The state granted the association formal recognition as a religious organization on May 16 1973. One high priest, 10 Goðar Here is a list of the changes #english - [Add] Silk Scroll [100] to Item Mall Some of these are: The most well-known of the Aesir are Odin and Thor. We treasure the spiritual awe, the feeling of "connecting" with the Gods and Goddesses, which can come from experiencing and appreciating the beauty and majesty of Nature. Asatru is about living with the gods today, here and now, even though we do keep in mind what once was, and let the inspiration flow through the sources like the Edda. Asatru is the original or native religious belief for the peoples who lived in these regions. Every year the priests of Ásatrúarfélagið have officiate dozens of same-sex marriages. Have you had an experience related to the contents of this article? We are expected to use our freedom, responsibility, and awareness of duty to serve the highest and best ends. Asatru says we should honor our ancestors. We believe that this underlying divinity expresses itself to us in the forms of the Gods and Goddesses. Ásatrú, as it has been practiced in Iceland, is a religion of nature and life, stressing the harmony of the natural world and the search for harmony in the life of individuals. 1. This is more commonly rendered as Asatru in North America, with practitioners being known as Asatruar. He was succeeded by Jörnmundur Ingi Hansen, who served until 2002. Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, the high priest of Ásatrúarfélagið, has said that he believes the reason for the growing interest in Ásatrú is caused by more and more people are learning about what the association does and seeing their ceremonies. Good and evil are not constants. or hails a God ("Hail Odin!" Thor is the Thunderer, the wielder of the divine Hammer Mjolnir. This group, led by Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson who later became the first high-priest of the association, decided to establish a formal congregation and request recognition from the state. By working in harmony with Nature we can become co-workers with the Gods. 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. Ásatrú, as it has been practiced in Iceland, is a religion of nature and life, stressing the harmony of the natural world and the search for harmony in the life of individuals. People are looking for community and for answers to the "big questions": What life is all about, and how we should live it. Their opposites - weakness, cowardice, adherence to dogma rather than to the realities of the world, and the like - constitute vices and are to be avoided. That means we have more than one god. We never surrender our will to theirs or humble ourselves before them, because we see ourselves as their kin, not as inferior, submissive pawns. We do not accept the idea of "original sin", the notion that we are tainted from birth and intrinsically bad, as does Christianity. They rep… We base our belief in the Poetic Edda, which consists of verses and poems written between the years 800-1000. Asatru is unlike the better-known religions in many ways. Ásatrúarfélagið, the Pagan Association, was formally founded in the spring of 1992. Priests in Ásatrú are called Goði, with each Goði responsible for a congregation "goðorð". Ásatrúarfélagið has four main blót each year: Jólablót (Yule-blót) at winter solstice in honor of the goddess Freyja, Sigurblót (Victory-blót) held on Sumardagurinn Fyrsti in the spring in honor of the god Freyr, Þingblót (Þing/assembly-blót) on Summer solstice held in honor of the laws, the Þing and human society, and Veturnáttablót (Winter-nights-blót) held on the first day of winter. Anyone can practice the religion  Asatru is thousands of years old. Ásatrúarfélagið has cut all ties with foreign associations of pagans after receiving harassment and hate mail from people who are angry with emphasis the association has placed upon equality and respect for human rights, especially LGBTQ rights. They have often practiced these beliefs with cruel brutality. The Vanir: These represent the fertility of the earth and forces of nature. It rejects militarism and the glorification of heroism, battles and blood. Both the Islamic and Christian cultures used means every bit as bloody, if not more so, than the Norsemen. It means "faith in the Æsir." We believe that there is an afterlife, and that those who have lived virtuous lives will go on to experience greater fulfillment, pleasure, and challenge. We treasure the spiritual awe, the feeling of "connecting" with the Gods and Goddesses, which can come from experiencing and appreciating the beauty and majesty of Nature. Promise! Many Asatru people start by feeling a connection to family energy or the ancestors. There is also a tradition in Asatru of rebirth within the family line. The highest office in Ásatrú is the Allsherjargoði, "The Goði of All". Eventually, the monolithic organization of the Christian church, bolstered by threats of economic isolation and assisted by an energetic propaganda campaign, triumphed over the valiant but unsophisticated tribes. We believe in standards of behavior which are consistent with these spiritual truths and harmonious with our deepest being. The old family spirit flows through the person and they begin to see the things the family did throughout time. This code of conduct reflects the highest and most heroic ideals of our people. According to figures from Statistics Iceland 3,583 people belonged to Ásatrúarfélagið on January 1 2017, up from 1,040 members 10 years ago. First pagan temple since 1000 will be opened in 2018, The temple The temple will have seating for 250 people. The Æsir are the Germanic gods . Nine other Goðar (the plural for Goði) serve different geographic regions. The first blót (the rituals of Ásatrú are called blót) was held on Jónsmessa, Midsummer Night. By combining these sources of internal and external wisdom with the literature left us by our ancestors, we arrive at religious truths. Countless thousands of people were murdered, maimed, and exiled in the process. Proper behavior in Asatru consists of maximizing one's virtues and minimizing one's vices. People may honestly believe that this is the case, but examination does not bear this out. The spiritual impulses it expresses are as ancient as the European peoples themselves - at least 40,000 years, and perhaps much older. The figures show that the share of Pagans in Iceland now tops 1% of the population for the first time for nearly a millennium. Another name for the religion is the Icelandic Ásatrú, which translates as "Æsir belief"—the Æsir being a sub-set of deities in Norse mythology. Asatru is the native central and northern European polytheistic religion. The Goðar can perform all religious services, including naming ceremonies, marriages, funerals and blót. Begun in Iceland on the Summer Solstice of 1972, the Íslenska Ásatrúarfélagið was founded recognized as an official religion the following year. They are associated with the clan. In the year 1000 the parliament of the Viking commonwealth, Alþingi, decreed that Christianity would be the only religion in Iceland. The result may or may not be "good" or "evil", but it will still be the right action. The various competing factions of Middle Eastern religions are proof of this. Asatru is a living religion, practiced by a rapidly growing number of people throughout the world. The Middle Eastern religions teach either a hatred of other religions or a duty to convert others, often by force. There is no all-powerful spiritual leader whose word is law, no "pope" of Asatru to dictate truth. That is, we believe in a number of deities, including Goddesses as well as Gods. 3. We may be Gods-in-the-making, but we are also members of the animal kingdom - a noble heritage in its own right. There is no prescribed dogma or scripture. 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. No one actually prays to the gods and how you might ask their intercession is entirely up to you. The membership has grown by 244% since 2007, making paganism the fastest growing religion in Iceland over the past decade. Do you want to know more about this subject? However, we do not actually worship them. In no case are good and evil dictated to us by the edicts of an alien, authoritarian deity, as in the Middle East. One of these was Asatru. did not give up their cherished beliefs easily. This website offers information and resources on the Ásatrú religion written with the general public in mind. Ásatrú, eða heiðinn siður, byggist á umburðarlyndi, heiðarleika, drengskap og virðingu fyrir fornum menningararfi og náttúrunni. The Edda includes texts about the great […] Runes are ancient Germanic symbols representing various concepts or forces in the universe. Their meanings are intimately connected with the teachings of Asatru. You'll probably want to familiarize yourself with at least the more notable ones to get started. Ancient Origins articles related to Asatru in the sections of history, archaeology, human origins, unexplained, artifacts, ancient places and myths and legends. This pulls them the rest of the way into the religion. Long before Christianity came to northern Europe, the people there - our ancestors - had their own religions. Read more: Heathens against hate: Exclusive interview with the high priest of the Icelandic Pagan Association, At a blót The blót of Ásatrúarfélagið are festive occasions Photo/Sara McMahon, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, the high priest of Ásatrúarfélagið, has stressed that Ásatrú is a religion of peace and respect. Here is our quick guide to the current state of Ásatrú, the ancient religion of the Vikings, in Iceland. Ásatrúarfélagið er með opið hús alla laugardaga frá klukkan 14:00 - 16:00. Since the early 1970's, the religion has been in a period of rapid growth in the former Norse countries, as well as throughout Europe and North America. Ásatrúarfélagið has been working on the new temple in the southern slope of Öskjuhlíðin hill just outside downtown Reykjavík for two years. L'Asatru est une ancienne religion du Nord de l'Europe, longtemps pratiquée par les peuples nordiques, elle fut peu à peu oubliée à partir de l'an 1 000. It is the ancient warrior religion of early Scandinavians and is still practiced today. They are all regarded as living entities who are involved in human life: The Aesir: These are the Gods of the tribe or clan, representing Kingship, order, craft, etc. The association has taken a firm stand on conservation and environmentalism. Taken together, they express our ancestors' world view. It was practiced in the lands that are today Scandinavia, England, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and other countries as well. No guru or priest has an exclusive direct line to the Gods. 11. The Gods live in you. Asatru is an ethnic, or folkish religion. Yes, they are real. 9, It is a religion of peace and tolerance. While we do have definite tenets, we have little dogma. Pre-Christian in origin, it shows Paleolithic characteristics (the Shamanistic tendencies of Odin and the “trickster” aspects of Loki) as well as Neolithic traits (the ‘honor and shame” nature of its warlike ethical system, which is common among pastoral nomads).The successful spread of Christianity largely displaced Asatru in Europe in the medieval period. Icelanders celebrate the unique public holiday "First Day of Summer", Perlan wrongly thought to be new heathen temple, Heathens against hate: Exclusive interview with the high priest of the Icelandic Pagan Association, The Icelandic Pagan Association receives hate-mail from reactionary pagans abroad. In kindreds throughout the world , Asatru groups gather regularly to practice a rapidly growing religion that was practiced on a large scale in Europe before the coming of Christianity. Our myths tell how Odin, father of the Gods, won them through painful ordeal so that Gods and humans alike might benefit from their wisdom. They accept that joy is good, but their teachings laden them with guilt because of some imaginary "original sin". The organization of Ásatrúarfélagið is based on the historic organization of Ásatrú during the Viking age. 2. Despite this persecution, elements of Asatru continued down to our own times - often in the guise of folklore - proving that our own native religion appeals to our innermost beings in a fundamental way. The atrocities committed by Christians, Muslims, and Jews throughout history are hardly a step up from anything. Asatru is a polytheistic, nature-oriented faith grounded in an honouring of the High Gods of the Aesir and the Vanir, the reverence for ancestors and our moral code is … One expression of this European spirituality was Asatru. Our deities act in and through natural law. A living faith Ásatrú, the religion of the first settlers of Iceland is alive and well in Iceland. Join our weekly hand curated newsletter to have all the latest news from Iceland sent to you. The temple will be 400 square meter (4,300 sq ft) dome which will be able to accommodate 250 people. Ásatrúarfélagið has an open house in Reykjavík at Síðumúli 15 every Saturday 14:00-16:00. 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 our scientists to discover how the universe was born. News from Iceland, What to do and see, local travel tips and expertise. Eitt megininntak siðarins er að … It was a very rough period in history for all concerned! Please send us a line at icelandmag@365.is. Veturnáttablót is in honor of Óðinn, the god of the gods. The decision was made to forestall a divided nation, split between the practitioners of Ásatrú and Christianity, each governed by a different legal code. We believe our forebears have passed to us certain spiritual qualities just as surely as they have given us various physical traits. This status was granted in 1972. We commune with them and honor them while seeking their blessing through formal rites and informal meditation. However, You are however encouraged to read the Poetic and Prose Eddas written by the 13th-century chieftain and scholar, Snorri Sturluson. There are three races of Deities in the Norse pantheon. It is an ethnic religion. This living spiritual guidance is better than any dusty, dogmatic "holy book", whose writings are often so ambiguous that even clerical scholars disagree and whose interpretations change with the politics of the times. Old Norse word meaning "true to the Asa(Norse Gods/Goddesses, also called the Aesir, collectively)". 5. The assembly disbanded in 1987 and the alliance is one of several organizations that emerged to fill the vacuum. We believe in an underlying, all-pervading divine energy or essence which is generally hidden from us, and which is beyond our immediate understanding. It's Asatru, which means " belief in the gods " in Old Norse, the language of ancient Scandanavia. Photo/Magnús Jensson. Read more: Icelanders celebrate the unique public holiday "First Day of Summer", Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson The first Allsherjargoði of Ásatrúarfélagið Photo/Vísir. This attitude removes the opposition between "natural" and "supernatural" and between religion and science. The weekly meetings of Ásatrúarfélagið are open to the public, as are all its official ceremonies, the blót. It also says we are bonded to those ancestors in a special way. Because we are more like our ancestors than we are like anyone else. Sveinbjörn served as Allsherjargoði, the high-priest of Ásatrúarfélagið until his death in 1993. Living a full and virtuous live is a form of prayer in itself. Asatru is the name by which the Norsemen called their religion. We want to believe that other religions espouse those values, so we see what we want to see. The religion which best expressed their innermost nature - Asatru - is better suited to us than is some other creed which started in the Middle East among people who are essentially different from us. No. Many Asatruar go to great lengths to link themselves with the past, such as taking on a Nordic "baptismal name" like Heimgest or Gunnar. As a natural religion the Ásatrú stresses the interconnection of all things and especially a respect for nature. Though the Edda was written during this time, the contents are much older. In March 2015 a ceremony was held to consecrate the ground where the temple will rise, and last year a ceremony was held to thank Mother Nature for the timber for the temple. The maintenance . While Ásatrú was the religion of the vast majority of the settlers of Iceland, some had been converted to Christianity while travelling in Europe. Welcome, visitor! They live on in us. The Jotuns: These are giants whom most of them are in a constant state of war with the Aesir. Asatru is a polytheistic, nature-oriented faith grounded in an honoring of the High Gods of the Aesir and the Vanir, the reverence for ancestors and our moral code … Server Inspection 02-01-2021 Greetings, everyone! Sometimes this starts as dreams and other times it starts during a period of family stress. Photo/GVA. We are polytheistic. 9, It is a religion of peace and tolerance. It's openness and philosophical character … Many of us instinctively believe in the values of Asatru because they have been passed down to us from our ancestors. Asatru is thousands of years old. Don't worry, we won't spam you. History of the Asatru Movement . This area corresponds to the greater Metropolitan Area. The same year, Asatru was granted official recognition in Iceland, becoming the second recognized faith in that country, along side the Lutheran Church. This ancient Pagan religion was known as Asatru, an old Norse word which means Troth (loyalty) to the Gods, and modern Asatru is nothing less than the complete revival of the ancient Norse Pagan religion. Our religion is based on many gods, each with different properties and different groups of worship. copyright (c) 1995 by Stephen A. McNallen. Modern historians agree that the Vikings were no more violent than the other peoples of their times. Now, a thousand years after its supposed demise, it is alive and growing. They believe in freedom, yet their scriptures say they are slaves to their God. We simply did not and do not need Christianity to be civilized. These objects are not Gods, so we don't worship them. Asatru, as practiced by the Norse peoples, had so much in common with the religion of the other Germanic tribes, and with their cousins the Celts, that it may be thought of as one version of a general European religion. Remember, the descriptions of Viking raids and invasions were all written by their enemies, who were hardly unbiased. Asatru recognizes many familiar Gods and Goddesses. Ásatrúarfélagið is the sixth largest religion in Iceland, and the largest non-Christian religion. 10. Practitioners of the old religion were permitted to continue its practice "in secret", but Christianity quickly replaced Ásatrú as the religion of Icelanders. Asatru is a polytheistic religion. There is some question regarding how closely Odinists have actually managed to recreate these beliefs, and of whether Germanic mythology ever qualified as an organized religion as it is understood today. They are seen more as friends and don´t judge us humans. Read more: The Icelandic Pagan Association receives hate-mail from reactionary pagans abroad, Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson in 1991 Sveinbjörn cut all ties to foreign pagans in reaction to what Icelandic pagans felt was the reactionary and hateful practice of the faith by many foreign pagans. Photo/Vilhelm. That is, we would say they contain truths about the nature of divinity, our own nature, and the relationship between the two. There is a real Thor, but we approach an understanding of him through this particular mental picture. Asatru has answers, but it has not been an alternative for most seekers because they haven't known about it. Stories about these deities are like a sort of code, the mysterious "language" through which the divine reality speaks to us. 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. To express these things in our lives is virtuous, and we strive to do this. Read more: Perlan wrongly thought to be new heathen temple. What Does That Mean? If we do this and do it well, the next life will take care of itself. Our very word "law" comes from the Norse language, not from the tongues of the Christian lands. No. Asatru isn't just what we BELIEVE, it's what we ARE. We do sometimes use these items as reminders of a God or Goddess, and we believe they can become "charged" with a certain aspect of the divine energy, but we would never confuse them with the actual deities. Many neo-pagan groups in Europe and the US who consider themselves observers of the religion of the Vikings, practice a religion which glorifies battles, militarism, masculine heroism and in some cases chauvinism, violence, intolerance and racism. Shortly afterwards, the Asatru Free Assembly was formed in the United States, although they later became the Asatru Folk Assembly. The temple would be the first heathen central temple built in the Nordic countries for more than a thousand years. There are written sources which 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.

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