Happy Sol’s Day!
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: “A Sacrifice for the Gods” – Chulainn Music
If you want more details about Asatru, I can’t recommend this book enough.
The are many other Norse gods I could have continued with but I will leave the issue of which god or goddess someone venerates and why to the actual followers of Asatru as that is not my purpose in this series. The main point from a pantheon of deities is that you can find one or several that you can consider yourself friends with. Being a friend of the gods is the main concept here not fawning worship and abject humiliation. This is an important concept to repeat at this point because it affects the idea of what sacrifice and worship are, as compared to other religions.
It is this being a friend based on admiration and respect that differs Asatru and many other pagan forms from most of what people normally consider worship. There is no bending the knee in supplication to the gods. There is no begging and pleading in prayer. Rather there is an asking to be empowered by them to achieve what one wants for themselves. There is no sin, so there is no need for forgiveness but rather a simple need to be better than one was yesterday.
You might look at this way that the Asatru virtues of Fidelity and Self-Reliance are very much a part of this concept. it is about the loyalty of friendship but at the same time painting balance with that by a desire to be independent and self-reliant. The gods are friends not objects of fawning worship. This is expressed in the idea that a person who follows Thor is not a worshiper of thor, but a ‘friend of Thor.”
If was a member of Asatru, I would be considered first and foremost a “Friend of Odin” but I have to admit I admire the sexy independence of Freya as well. Which would put me in good standing in either hall I would find myself in if I died in battle. I could nod my head to the others but it is these two I would want to be friends with even though there are dangers associated with being a friend of either of them.
Theologically speaking, it seems to me that any god that needs lordship to be a god is no god at all. The god of the bible, for instance, is jealous and demands worship thus indicating his insecurities. The Norse gods by contrast simply are portrayed as being of power that one can be friends with. This indicates they are quite secure in themselves and need no such blind devotion. If I still believed in any god, this is the kind of god I think I would rather have been true – one that isn’t an insecure prick but simple one that offers friendship. Kind of reminds me of this prayer in a movie
No Gods, No Masters
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.