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What is Asatru ?
Asatru is a modern religion rooting in the beliefs and mythology of the pre-Christian
(Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark), and the continental Germanic tribes.
"Ásatrú" is Icelandic and means "Faith/trust in the Aesir" (and the Vanir),
families of deities who are best known as the gods and goddesses of the Old Norse
Because the old Scandinavian sources provide the best knowledge of them,
refer to them
by their Old Norse names: Odin, Thor, Freya, Freyr, Tyr, etc.
The continental tribes had similar names for them: Wodan, Donar, Friia, Frey, Ziu
Traces remain in modern English: Tuesday
means Ziu´s/Tyr's day, Wednesday = Wodan´s day,
Thursday = Thor's day, and
Friday = Frigg's day or Freyja's day.
It is my belief that Asatru is open to everyone,
and anyone who falls called to do so may honor
and worship the Gods - regardless of gender, race, color, ethnicity, national
origin, language, sexual orientation,
or other divisive criteria.
Asatru often form local groups for the same reasons that people of other
religions come together.
These groups are sometimes called Hearths, Kindreds, or by other names. Some Asatruar live
too far away
from each other to be able to join a group, and some again may choose to
practice their faith solitary.
Several countries have large organizations, and in some of those countries Asatru is
officially recognized as a state religion.
That much being rather general, many details vary from group to group
and from believer to believer.
There are these days many different variations of faith in the Norse deities
with other names besides Asatru,
e.g. "Heathen" is a very common self-designation. As there is no central authority
recognized by all,
individual opinions on anything faith-related are bound to vary.
This is why
I do not presume to speak
other authors represented on this site, but for myself and my own community.
Your mileage may vary :-).
Would you know more? Here are some links with further information:
Asatru Ring Frankfurt & Midgard
Unofficial Asatru FAQ
Erich's Definition of Ásatrú
Wikipedia: Asatru / Heathenry