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Asatru (Norse Religion/Mythology)

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16 Nov 2014 22:28 #170106 by Talariq
I have recently been drawn to Asatru, but have hit a few roadblocks.

One is the recent resurge of Odinism, and the number of people using old Norse mythology as a cover up for Neo-Nazi beliefs. This is definitely not what I am searching for.

The other is that a lot of the pages I find do not site any references, and therefore I'm not sure who is providing correct or worthwhile information. A lot of them seem to just be Wiccan or Neo-Pagan with a splash of Thor mixed in.

So far all I've come up with is sunnyway.com/runes/ which focuses solely on runes (and even then has been said by a few people to be untrustworthy). If anyone has any information on Asatru, good books to look into, or can help with a link to a trustworthy site or two, that would be greatly appreciated.

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16 Nov 2014 22:49 - 16 Nov 2014 22:49 #170108 by Alan
I suggest starting with these original sources in translation.
  • Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda.
  • Germania written by Roman historian, Tacitus.
  • Voluspa, the opening chapters of the Poetic Edda.

Secondary source: Gods and Myths of Northern Europe by Hilda R. Ellis Davidson.
Last edit: 16 Nov 2014 22:49 by Alan.
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16 Nov 2014 23:09 - 16 Nov 2014 23:11 #170109 by Zenchi
Frustrating, isn't it? I was following Asatru shortly before I wound up here, and was experiencing what sounds to be like the same things you were; every group out there having difference of opinion as to what Asatru was, what were it's origins etc etc. Then throw in Heathenism to help confuse matters...lol.

Here's a link that has quite a few decent books listed, ones I would consider essential reading anyways. I'd start with the Edda's...
www.erichshall.com/asanew/bblist.htm

Here's another one for the Asatru Alliance... www.asatru.org

Hope you find what you're looking for...

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Last edit: 16 Nov 2014 23:11 by Zenchi.
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17 Nov 2014 04:50 - 17 Nov 2014 04:56 #170137 by Arcade
Replied by Arcade on topic Asatru (Norse Religion/Mythology)
Hi, Talariq.

I also encountered many of the same roadblocks when initially exploring Asatru and various interpretations of Germanic/Heathen paths. The subtle (and not so subtle) racism, sexism, and homophobia, and the strong conservative current within the general community made it apparent to me early on that I would probably never find myself active in the Heathen community. For the past few years, I've been a solitary practitioner of Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, and despite books being my primary source of knowledge and inspiration and my lack of connection with the Heathen community at large, I've found the path fulfilling and beneficial.

I have two acquaintances who adhere to Heathen reconstructionism, another who's Asatruar, and one who's a Northern Tradition Pagan. And, as you've already clearly come to understand, those are all very different paths. :) Reconstructionists are very strict and prefer everything to come from historical sources, while Pagans (and even Asatruar to a certain extent) are more relaxed and comfortable with what many Heathens call UPG (Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis).

Unfortunately, I can't offer you suggestions for good Asatru specific books. My friend who's Asatruar seems to like Diana Paxson and Kveldulf Gundarsson, but in honesty I haven't read much by either author. Where runes are concerned, Edred Thorsson's rune trilogy (Futhark, Runelore, and Runecaster's Handbook) is a reasonable place to look for good information on the runes and rune history. Some of his material is controversial, but those 3 books at least offered me a foundation and I was able to branch out and explore from there. The massive two volume collaboration, Our Troth, might also be worth a look.

It sounds like you are mainly interested in Norse Heathenry, though if at any point you find that you're interested in learning about Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, I can certainly direct you toward decent books related to that path. Please feel free to PM me anytime. I'm happy to talk about Heathenry/Heathenism in general, and am always open to sharing my own experiences or listening to yours. :)
Last edit: 17 Nov 2014 04:56 by Arcade.

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17 Nov 2014 18:28 #170217 by Talariq
Thank you, everyone! I think I definitely have a good jumping off point with all of these suggestions.

This is why I love this site and the people on it!

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08 Feb 2015 09:44 - 08 Feb 2015 09:46 #180676 by Burn_Phoenix
Sorry for being a bit late to this topic, I only came back in January, but I am also interested in this area.

Like others before me I was looking into Asatru before coming here and after a couple of weird experiences not too long ago also looked into it again (though specifically Odin).

Firstly, my impression is that there are loads of sole practitioners of the faith (as seems to be the case for many pagan religions) so being unable to find the right kind of community does not mean you can't practice/believe. Admittedly it would be nice to have some guidance, but with Norse especially a lot of information is gone for one reason or another so most people really make it up as they go along lol. Hindu is probably the closest to current mainstream faiths to pagan beliefs, and for the vast majority the worship side of things is very personal so everyone will honour the gods in their own way; I assume that would be similar in Asatru.

Also Adder, I was under the impression that Anglo-Saxon beliefs were as Norse (but with different names due to change of language) is that not the case? Being in UK I'd be interested to know more as it would have been the faith of my ancestors, my assumption that it was essentially the Norse mythologies is what lead me to them to start with.

"Life does not treat you fairly or unfairly, it merely is. It is up to each of us to be fair or unfair."

"The truth is one, the sages speak of it by many names."

Matt Ward
Last edit: 08 Feb 2015 09:46 by Burn_Phoenix. Reason: typo

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08 Feb 2015 20:44 #180711 by Arcade
Replied by Arcade on topic Asatru (Norse Religion/Mythology)

Burn_Phoenix wrote: Also Adder, I was under the impression that Anglo-Saxon beliefs were as Norse (but with different names due to change of language) is that not the case? Being in UK I'd be interested to know more as it would have been the faith of my ancestors, my assumption that it was essentially the Norse mythologies is what lead me to them to start with.


Hi, Burn! I think you were directing this question toward me. As much as I'd love to claim that I'm as smart and good looking as Adder, I can't. ;)

Anglo-Saxon paganism came about when Germanic tribes from Europe migrated to Great Britain in the 5th century and is distinct from Norse paganism in some ways (including differing practices and the observance of a few different gods). The period between the 5th and 7th/8th centuries and the varying local beliefs and religious ideas of that era are typically the focus of modern Anglo-Saxon Heathens.

Germanic paganism did spread to Great Britain in the form of Norse paganism (specifically) during the Viking invasions of the 9th and 10th centuries, but the Anglo-Saxon religion originated before that point in history and is a unique branch of Germanic paganism.

If you'd like more information, these are all useful Wikipedia entries:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Saxon_paganism
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Saxon_England
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Saxons
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_Neopaganism
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_Age

And if you're looking for a good introduction to modern Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, authors Swain Wodening and Alaric Albertsson have written a few decent books for those starting off on the path. Again, I'm always open to discussing this stuff as well. :)

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08 Feb 2015 20:51 #180712 by Burn_Phoenix

Arcade wrote: Hi, Burn! I think you were directing this question toward me. As much as I'd love to claim that I'm as smart and good looking as Adder, I can't. ;)


Yes it was for you, I'm so sorry! That's what happens when I use my phone (it doesn't let me see the other posts when I'm typing!)

Thank you for the information, I haven't read it yet, felt I needed to apologise first lol.

"Life does not treat you fairly or unfairly, it merely is. It is up to each of us to be fair or unfair."

"The truth is one, the sages speak of it by many names."

Matt Ward
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08 Feb 2015 21:08 #180713 by Jamie Stick
You might also want to try Reddit:

/r/Asatru is a very friendly place and the majority of the people I've seen there frown upon Odinism, racism, sexism, etc.

You might also be enriched by /r/Heathenry and /r/Norse
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18 Feb 2015 00:44 #181832 by Figment
Here are also some really nice sites that have good information or shows you were to get good information.

www.thetroth.org/index.php

www.vikinganswerlady.com/seidhr.shtml

Good luck on your path. :)

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