Asatru and Norse Paganism
Asatru, or Norse Paganism, is a modern interpretation of the Old Norse religion or faith of our ancestors. We refer to the original sources that are available from the Iron, Viking, and Medieval Ages, and periods prior to that, when or if they become available. This includes the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda, Icelandic and Scandinavian Sagas, the Hávamál, and other available sources. We bring this information together and update the practice to fit a modern perspective and context.
Asatru is an including faith where everyone is welcome. Your background, gender, sexuality, and so forth, is not a concern of the faith. You're welcome if your actions are honest and loving towards yourself and the rest of the folk. Gods are global, if you feel a connection to this faith – then you're home in this faith. Simple as that. Welcome!
Paganism is a very lively religion that has developed and evolved through thousands of years throughout the world. Thus, nobody can tell you what is right or wrong. What you choose to believe is up to you. Your beliefs should always be considered internally. Only be accepted by you, if you indeed believe that is the right version of faith for you.
We always encourage the folk to look for information and perspectives from a wide variety of sources and share your own too. Likewise, this source should not be your only source of reference either.
This also means that even if we're on the same path and will agree on many matters, there will also be matters where we do not agree. That is perfectly fine – and exactly how it should be.
Communities and the Folk
Communities of Asatru and the Folk are spread everywhere across the world. Thus, no matter where you may happen to be located, there are people just like you close to you. However, finding some of these communities and people can at times be a challenge. Not all communities are publicly promoted, and thus, often the best way to meet the folk is to participate in various online communities about the faith. Here, you'll often find people who know something or someone in your area.
Gods and Spirits in the Asatru
Asatru and Norse Paganism is a polytheistic and animistic religion. That means, that there are many gods and spirits who are venerated in our faith. The faith does not include an exclusive list of gods and spirits. Thus, you're free to choose your favorites from across the most common gods and spirits and to find your own among other religions and faiths.
Asatru and Norse Paganism truly is your faith.
When we are talking gods in paganism, you have several ways of understanding these gods. Each person's understanding will depend on who you ask. Some see the gods as a being like you and I. Others, see them as distinct types of energy in the world. And again, others, see the gods as natural phenomena in the world and the universe in and around us.
Some of the most common gods to be venerated in the Asatru, are;
- Odin: God of War and Wisdom
- Frigg: Goddess of Maternity
- Thor: God of Thunder
- Freyja: Goddess of Love and Beauty
- Tyr: God of Martial Honor and the Sword
- Loki: God of Fire and Mischief
- Ull: God of Winter and Archery
- Baldr: God of Light
- Hodur: God of Darkness
- Njord: God of Navigation
- Forseti: God of Justice
- Bragi: God of Poetry
- Frey: God of Fertility
- Hel: Goddess of Death
- Heimdall: Guardian of the Gods
- Gefion: Goddess of Ploughing
- Eir: Goddess of Healing
- Sjofn: Goddess of Human Love
- Lofn: Goddess of Forbidden Love
- Var: Goddess of Marriage
- Vor: Goddess of Truth
- Syn: Goddess of Defendants
- Saga: Goddess of Drinking
- Snotra: Goddess of Self-Discipline
However, again, this is not an exclusive list. A quite common practice is to include the Celtic, Roman, and Greek gods as well. Some are also mixing Asatru and Norse Paganism with other religions, such as, Christianity, Wicca, among others.
Phases of Life
The various phases of nature and life are generally considered important to most people in the Asatru and Norse Paganism. These include the phases of the Sun, the phases of the Moon, and the phases of the year, also called the Wheel of the Year.
Phases of the Sun
- Spring Equinox
- Summer Solstice
- Autumn Equinox
- Winter Solstice
Phases of the Moon
- New Moon
- First Quarter
- Full Moon
- Last Quarter
Wheel of the Year
The Wheel of the Year are at the same time the seasons and the holidays celebrated during the year. The dates may vary depending on the location and the exact year that we are in. Naturally, the seasons of the Northern Hemisphere are different from the seasons of the Southern Hemisphere. Or rather, the dates are different.
Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life or the World Tree, is our world and universe depicted as a tree – the cosmology of Asatru and Norse Paganism. It includes, to our knowledge, nine lands and a number of halls. None of the lands or halls are de facto better or worse than others. Also, none are de facto good or bad. Everything is a balance, including life itself.
In Asatru and Norse Paganism, you can travel between lands and halls across the World Tree. Meaning, you are not limited from meeting anyone in life, and the afterlife, no matter where you will be calling home.
Known Lands of Yggdrasil
- Asgard: Land of the Aesir
- Vanaheim: Land of the Vanir
- Alvheim: Land of the Elves
- Midgard: Land of the Humans
- Helheim: Land of the Dead
- Svartalvheim: Land of the Dwarves and Black Elves
- Nivlheim: Land of Ice and Mist
- Muspelheim: Land of Fire
- Jotunheim: Land of the Giants
Known Halls of the Lands
- Valhal: Odin's Hall
- Folkvang: Freyja's Hall
- Bilskirnir in Trudvang: Thor's Hall
- Ydale: Ull's Hall
- Fensale: Frigg's Hall
- Breidablik: Baldr's Hall
- Noatun: Njord's Sea Hall
- Sokkvabekk: Saga's Bank
- Eljudnir: Hel's Hall
- Glitner: Forseti's Hall
- Himmelberget: Heimdall's Home
- Naastrand: House for Criminals
All the lands and halls are known by different names and sometimes spelled in various ways.