“Revival – Asatru (Part 5)” – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, goddesses, or whatever powers that be either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.

We also don’t take an offering here.  We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it.  Let’s be honest, offerings are not given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Theme Song: ‘Herr Mannelig’ – Garmarna

 

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'Crazy World YOU DON'T HAVE A RIGHT TO THE CARDS YOU BELIEVE YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEALT. YOU HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO PLAY THE HELL OUT OF THE ONES YOU'RE HOLDING.'

The situation is always changing and it is not always in your favor.  Regardless there is always the best way to play your hand and it is your obligation to find it.

Text:

See the source image

If you want more details about Asatru, I can’t recommend this book enough.

Sermon:

It is hard to say when the revival of the interest in Pagan Norse Religion really began. In some cases, we might say that it was preserved through family traditions and merging pagan traditions with Chrisitan ones. There was also a limited amount of writing done by historians and literature experts on Norse Mythology and religious practice.

Some argue that it was the early 20th century with the interest in Germanic ancient culture by the Germans that saw the start of it.  It is also a criticism that it might be colored by the Nazis but it is probably more likely to be the case of the Nazi’s using cultural trends to their advantage as far as PR.  Symbols and history are often coopted by those that rule to form a romanticism they tap into.  The romanticism though already existed because a lot of it can be traced back to the 19th century long before the nazi’s perverted the mythology and the Swastika.  I and many other people who study Asatru and history would say the chief deity of the Nazi party was Adolf Hitler himself, not Odin, Thor or Tyr.

In any case, in the last 70 years or so a revival of interest in ancient Northern European mythology has arisen.  Becoming more popular, as Diane Paxton observes, starting with the writings in England with Tolkein and CS Lewis. Robert E. Howard with Conan chimed in during the 1950s.  Is it any wonder that I have an interest in this mythology when what sparked my interest was these great writers and my own heritage.

In 1969, the same year I was born, the Odinist Fellowship was founded, followed by Viking Brotherhood in 1971 and Asatru Free Assembly in 1976.  All in America. In Iceland, Asatru became an accepted religion by their parliament in 1973 thus opening up the most direct route to a religious revival of ancient ways through Asatru.

What has followed has been a process of Norse paganism in Asatru arising and organizing into various groups. The 1990s saw a great deal of expansion and development. Publications and books are becoming more and more frequent.  I would say interest has been revived and increase due to the television series Vikings among many others.

For me, my personal story of ‘conversion’ to Asatru is a long one.  Like I said, I loved fantasy books from an early age. devouring CS Lewis, Tolkien, and Howard. Conan became a favorite hero of mine along with Gandalf.  I was a Dungeons and Dragons player and Dungeon Master for many years and that has this culture and religion as a large part of it.   The more I learned the more it fascinated me.  I suppose the crisis moment and conversion point would be me leaving Christianity for good last year and realizing my need for a new code of conduct.  I looked at many warrior codes, but Asatru appealed more than all of them because of this connection to my culture, history, and interests. My pagan tendencies tend to line up very much with Asatru.

This ends part one of my Asatru analysis.  Next will be a discussion of many of the Norse gods and goddesses and their significance to the followers of Asatru.

Parting Thought:

 

Image may contain: one or more people, beard and text

Paganism does have some bit of a ‘dark’ side.  In that, most of us will do terrible things if the ones we love are threatened.  There is no turn the other cheek or forgiveness without restitution.  And if the person opposing us doesn’t offer us restitution or threatens to take what is ours, then we can get such restitution by other means.  You might say justice has a different meaning to us.  Your best course of action in dealing with us is being honest and respectful and mind your own business.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

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