What is Ásatrú?

Published September 9, 2018

Ásatrú is the modern expression of the ancient indigenous religion of the peoples of northern and western Europe. It is the worship of the gods of Asgard; Odin, Thor, Freya, and many more. It is also the worship of the spirits of the land, who dwell in springs, stones, trees, and rivers, as well as the honoring of our ancestors, who help make us who we are. The Gods We worship those gods who were worshiped by our ancestors prior to the conversion of the North to Christianity. But more than that, we believe that the gods literally are our […]

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Gylfaginning: Sealed in Secret Language

Published May 5, 2018

By Donald van den Andel. One of the most important texts available for Ásatrúar (and others interested in the study of the Norse religion or Icelandic literature) is Snorri Sturluson’s Edda, sometimes referred to as the “Prose Edda” or the “Younger Edda” to differentiate it from mythological and heroic poems normally referred to as the “Poetic Edda” or “Elder Edda.”[1] Sturluson’s thirteenth century work is composed of three parts of which Gylfaginning (“The Tricking of Gylfi”) is the most popular and certainly the most influential. It is this section, which recounts the fantastic tales of the Norse Gods, that has […]

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What are your rituals like?

Published January 4, 2016

Here is the blót script that we celebrated at Yule. They’re not all identical, but this should give you some idea of how we do things. Yuleblót The blót Dancing around the fire as the Yulebokk is burned Sumbel

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What if my ancestors aren’t European?

Published November 28, 2015

Just as Asatru is the ancestral faith of people whose ancestors hailed from northern and western Europe, so too are there ancestral faiths for all peoples, prior to the coming of the monotheistic faiths like Christianity and Islam. If you’re not of European ancestry, yet still feel a strong pull towards Asatru or the gods of the North, we strongly encourage you to explore the faith of your own ancestors before trying ours. It’s very possible that you’re feeling a genuine pull towards an ancestral faith, but just haven’t found the one that’s truly right for you. There are plenty of […]

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What’s the role of women in Ásatrú?

Published January 22, 2015

Pre-Christian Germanic culture held women in high esteem, and contemporary Ásatrú does as well. Historically, women were equal before the law in terms of rights; they could own property, act as witnesses in legal disputes, and divorce their husbands. Indeed, in many ways women were placed above men; they were considered to be the ones who ran the household, which is why the symbolic passing of the keys to the wife was so significant; it marked her as the one who was in charge. Women warriors were also not unknown, and modern archaeology leads us to believe female warriors were even […]

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What sort of rituals does Ásatrú have?

Published January 15, 2015

There are two main rituals in Ásatrú; blót (pronounced bloat) and sumbl (pronounced soom-bull). Blót is an offering to the Gods (or ancestors, or spirits). It can be anything, from an animal sacrifice (rarely practiced in modern times), something more symbolic (like a straw animal, or one made out of dough), items of value (like coins), things that took skill to create (artwork, weapons, tools, etc.), and the like. The thing being offered is destroyed or damaged, in order to make sure that it cannot be recovered and thereby taken away from the Gods. The central idea of the blót is that an offering […]

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Does Ásatrú believe in sin?

Published January 8, 2015

There is no concept of “sin” in Ásatrú, in the Christian sense of a transgression of some divine law that can be washed away by forgiveness, or acceptance of some dogmatic concept. We believe that wrongs committed are committed against individuals, and it is up to the individual (or their relatives or friends) to see to it that wrongs are set right. This concept applies to the Gods as well; for every wrong it is possible to regain balance by the payment of what is known as shild or weregeld. This need not necessarily be money; it could well be hard work, […]

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What happens after we die?

Published January 1, 2015

The Asatru conception of the afterlife is complex. The existence of a soul that survives the death of the body is taken as a given, but what happens to that soul can take a few different paths. The most well-known fate for the dead is Valhalla, Odin’s hall in Asgard where the souls of those who have been chosen in battle fight all day, and those who fall are raised every day and feast all night, drinking mead and eating pork. But this destination is only for a very few, those warriors who fall in battle after being chosen by Odin and […]

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