Blothus

Sharing My Asatru and Norse Pagan Journey

Asatru, or Norse Paganism, can be a challenging faith to get your head around. It takes time and effort to dive deep into the history, our ancestors, the practice, and rituals within the faith. However, if I should focus in on a few things that I, personally, think that sums up Asatru quite well – I would go for Community, Food, and Nature.

Community

Asatru is first and foremost about the folk and the community. This is both true for the history of our ancestors and for the faith today. Both the Poetic Edda and the Hávamál, among other original sources, signifies the importance of social qualities, such as hospitality, family, brothers and sisters, and the community at large. The essence of many stories within the faith are also often surrounding gatherings of people, sharing food and drinks, feasting, doing offerings together, sitting around the fireplace together, and so forth.

This is more relevant than ever before, if you can say so, since the modern times have in many cases left people feeling alone and disconnected from our communities and the surroundings that used to be our main focus in life. Luckily, many gatherings, markets, festivals, etc. are increasingly happening all around the world. This happens as more and more people select this path and seek to live a life that’s connected with the community and our nature as living beings.

Food

Food is essential. Both for our survival and as an event for gathering people, sharing, and supporting the community and each other. Good food is nourishing for our bodies and minds. Sharing food is good for our well-being, community, and sense of belonging. Food is also included in the Poetic Edda and Hávamál when talking about hospitality and gatherings. Sharing food is in our DNA. It brings people together and it unites people under one roof.

Today, many gatherings include making and sharing food and drinks together as an essential part of the events. This includes not only eating the food and drinking the drinks, but also collecting the ingredients and making the food and drinks – together. The process of making the food and drinks is similarly important to sharing the food and sitting together in communion.

Nature

In Asatru, nature is our main house of worship. This is where we often meet with our fellow folk, this is where we calm down, and this is where we connect with our gods through rituals and practice. Nature is key to our spirituality and the lifestyle it is to live as an Asatrui. Like community and food, the importance of nature is mentioned throughout all the original sources that we have available today, including the Poetic Edda.

We meet in nature, we venerate in nature, we live in nature. Asatru is a polytheistic and animistic faith and lifestyle. Polytheistic meaning that we venerate many gods, and animistic, meaning that we venerate spirits within select parts of the world surrounding us. This includes prominent, often elder, trees. It can include weather phenomena. It may include stones and rivers, mountains and forests, deserts, and lakes. Really it is a connection that we feel and that we connect with. And of course, it also includes animals and other living beings that we share the world with.

Thus, Asatrui and other pagans, are often some of the first to ensure that the nature around us is clean and inhabitable by not only ourselves, but also the animals, bugs, birds, fish, butterflies, plants, trees, and others that make this place a truly beautiful place to be.

Community, Food & Nature

Bringing it all together, community, food, and nature are some of the most essential parts of what it means to live as an Asatrui. This is part of our history, but interestingly, these three things are more relevant today than ever before. We need a flourishing and healthy community, we need enough and healthy foods, and we need the beautiful, and hopefully, healthy nature around us. Because without it, we’re nothing.

Personally, every day when I get out of bed, I think about these three aspects of life; community, food, and nature. Every day, I plan of what to do with each of them today. And every day, when the day comes to an end, I rank my day in terms of these three factors; community, food, and nature. Specifically, I give each factor a health ranking of either red, yellow, or green. This helps me to live the life that I want to live, and doing so with respect and care for the folk and our surroundings – everywhere, and every day.

In Paganism, our body, together with nature, is our temple. Most of us in the Asatru and Norse Pagan faith prioritize the health of our body and mind very highly. In fact, our health has always been one of the most important aspects of our life in Midgard, the land of the humans. Our health and well-being are the foundation for a good life.

Being body and sex positive means, not just accepting, but honoring the body that we have and the sex life that we live. That includes every single type of body and mind. And it includes every sensual and sexual experience and interest that we may have or want to explore. The only limiting factor that we believe in is that it must be consensual, it must be joyful for everyone involved, and it must be true and authentic.

Sex in Asatru is seen as a very natural activity. Just like any other species, sex is a part of our daily lives, it's a source of pleasure, a source of potential pro-creation, and it's a source of celebration. Yes, sex in Asatru is a celebration of life. Without sex, we wouldn't have life. So, exploring our sexual interests are crucial for a healthy life.

Sex and Marriage

Marriage in Asatru works a bit differently from many other faiths. Really a marriage in Asatru, for most people, is more a celebration of our love relationship(s). It is a way to honor what we have been building so far and what we plan to continue to build in the coming years. A marriage in Asatru is not necessarily for life. It can be, naturally. But it can also be a shorter period or an eternal marriage. In Asatru, it is optional whether you want to define a duration for the marriage.

Now, sex and marriage in Asatru are seen as two distinct things. Sex is one thing and marriage is another thing. Thus, you may choose to have sex before, during, and after marriage with any person and any number of people. You may also choose not to. Meaning, whether you want an open or a closed relationship is completely up to you and what you decide in your relationship(s). The key factor is that you are on the same page, completely transparent and honest, and that every person involved are comfortable with the situation.

This, naturally, makes the pagan world one of the most inclusive and diverse groups of people and faiths in this world. Monogamous and non-monogamous, or polyamorous, relationships are all welcome on the same level and it is not a direct matter of the faith. Likewise, whether we are together with men, women, or a mix is also not a concern of the faith. It is something that we decide for ourselves together with our partner(s).

Sex as a Ritual

In Asatru, among other pagan faiths, sensual and sexual activity can also be included in various rituals. However, it is important to notice that this is not at all necessary for the practice. Though, many do find meaning in combining their sex life and their faith.

Sex rituals in paganism can include solo activities, sex with one or more partners, and sex as part of a group setting. Like the act of having sex and the distinction between sex and marriage, sharing sex among more people is for many pagans a very natural thing to do. Sex is seen as an act of love for ourselves and others involved, it is a time of pleasure, and it is a veneration and celebration of life, nature, and the gods.

However, this open mindset is, generally speaking, not an invitation to expect sex or any other romantic activity from any pagan. Naturally, just like we are open-minded, we are also very conscious of who we invite into our lives. Sex should be meaningful in general, but especially, when speaking of sex as a ritual.

It is also important to notice that sex rituals are usually not of the type that we may stumble upon in videos online. It can be, but often these videos are made for different purposes and often by people who are not actively engaged in a pagan faith. However, we also do not condemn or judge what is right or wrong. Very few things in life are de facto right or wrong. Other matters are up for personal evaluation.

Body and sex positivity is the key to celebrating life through some of the most intense feelings and sensations that we humans get to experience. That is a key part of a healthy life. Our bodies and our sex lives are meant to be honored, to be explored, and to be celebrated throughout our lives. Our bodies are the channel through which we get to experience some of these intense feelings and sensations that sex, among other things, can reveal for us.

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