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Thread: New to Asatru

  1. #1
    pragon
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    New to Asatru

    Hello everyone. I'm new to learning about the Asatru religion (Norse/viking). Does anyone know how I can get started with it? I'd like to convert to it. I feel like it might benefit my life. Are there any requirements?

  2. #2
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: New to Asatru

    I've tossed this into Heathen Traditions. We've got a handful of Heathen/ Northern Tradition members floating around so it's mostly a matter of waiting for one to notice. In the meantime, you might check some of the stickied threats in this section.

    http://www.paganforum.com/forumdispl...hen-Traditions
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

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    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

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    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  3. #3
    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: New to Asatru

    I always figure that a good place to start is books, but that's because I'm a bookworm!

    Asatru is one particular path within the umbrella of the 'Northern' paths. It tends to be the one that most non-Northern folks are exposed to, because the term gets mentioned a lot in neo-pagan circles, but is also the one that is most misunderstood and misrepresented. There are technically some requirements and 'rules' to being a proper Asatruar, and some traditional groups can be very antsy about neo-pagans and solitary practitioners using the term... but the main thing is to remember that it's not the only Northern path, and if you are drawn to the Northern gods then there is a path that will suit you somewhere under our umbrella! I have been drawn to the Northern gods for almost 20 years, but I shied away from them for many years because I found that Asatru was not for me and I thought it was the only option. So keep an open mind going when starting your journey.

    The most respected and recommended sources are primary sources (the Eddas and Sagas) and secondary sources (mostly later academics with some original first-hand-but-biased reports like Tacitus and Saxo), but it can take a lot of time and money to build up your collection and these sources can be a bit dry. So I am totally okay with recommending a more generic book to get people kickstarted on the path... just remember that these sorts of books are just like most mass-published neo-pagan books... they are by prolific authors who tend towards the more inclusive and non-traditional end of the scale. So take everything you read with a healthy dose of discernment. Popular and easily accessible beginners authors on the topics of Asatru, Heathenism and Northern Tradition are Kveldulf Gundarsson, Sven Plowright, Swain Wodening, Mark Stinson, Diana Paxson, Galina Krasskova and Raven Caldera. They vary in how accepted they are within traditional groups, but I do think that it's work reading any of them if you can find them in libraries and ebooks, if only to get you started. Once you decide that these are the gods and this is the path for you... well then you can dive into the primary sources and brave the waters of online Asatru and Heathenry forums.

    As for what most Northern paths are about... they vary (just like any other group of religious or spiritual traditions) but the main focus tends to be the gods and the community, with a strong focus on personal integrity and on hospitality. Magickal practices usually include divination, rune galdr and oracular seidhr (with some other bits and pieces depending on which path you follow)... but it's important to know that not all groups perform or even believe in these magickal practices. Ritual community gatherings, feasting, offerings and storytelling are a big part of traditional group practice, but are obviously harder to do as a solitary practitioner. Some people claim that you can't be truly Asatru or Heathen without being involved in a physical group, and there is an element of that that is true... because without a group you miss out on a lot of the community and ritual aspects. But there is room in most Northern paths for the solitary practitioner and there are a lot of online groups that can provide a sense of community participation.

    The gods... well they are many and varied. The word 'Asatru' indicates devotion to the Aesir, though most also include the Vanir in their worship. But there are also Jotnar gods as well as a rich array of non-deity entities and spirits... jotnar (giants), alfar (elves) and dvergr (dwarves) are the other primary races of the Nine Worlds, but there are also many lesser spirits and individual entities that exist in the Nine Worlds and in this one. The mythology of Northern Europe is multi-layered and fascinating, and we have to remember that it doesn't just include Viking folklore... but all of Scandinavia, Anglo-Saxon lands and the Germanic lands (which is NOT just modern Germany but includes most of Northern Europe) as well as some overlap with Finnish, Slavic, Baltic and Celtic mythology and folklore. Our gods traveled and wide, so there is plenty of room for different areas of focus within the Northern paths.

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