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What is Asatru?:
Asatru is an expression of the native, pre-Christian spirituality of Europe. More specifically, it is the Way by which the Germanic peoples have traditionally related to the Divine and to the world around them.
From Iceland to Russia, from the frozen north of Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, the Germanic peoples wandered and settled over a span of thousands of years. Today, their descendants are spread around the world. We may refer to ourselves as Americans or English, Germans or Canadians, but behind these labels lurks an older, more essential identity. Our forefathers were Angles and Saxons, Lombards and Heruli, Goths and Vikings - and, as sons and daughters of these peoples, we are united by ties of blood and culture undimmed by the centuries.
Asatru is our native Way. Just as there is Native American religion and native African religion, so there is native European religion. Asatru is one of its expressions. It gave our ancestors comfort in millennia past, and it can give us strength and inspiration today.
The word "Asatru" comes to us from Old Norse, the tongue of ancient Scandinavia, where it means "those loyal to the Gods." Since the ancient Scandinavian version of our Way is the best documented, it has given us much of Asatru's terminology and imagery. The soul of Asatru, however, is not confined to the Scandinavian model, but encapsulates the belief of all the Germanic peoples. Indeed, Asatru reflects the deeper religiosity common to virtually all the nations of Europe.
Why describe yourself as folkish?:
Asatru is currently split between two different lines of thought - "universalists," who believe the religion is for all regardless of ancestry, and, "folkish," who believe the religion is intended for those of ethnic European decent. We obviously believe that the religion of our ancestors is intended for us, their descendants.
What folkish groups are there I can join?:
- The Hávamál - The Havamal is a collection of wisdom and guidelines for living, written as a poem and attributed to the God Odin which expresses highly valued ideals such as wisdom, friendship, morality, caution, courage, and commonsense. No one knows who wrote the Havamal manuscript. The only surviving written source for this poem is contained within the 13th century Codex Regius, but the Havaml is referenced as far back as the 10th century. The Havamal originated from oral tradition and therefore we may never know how old it really is.
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