Esoteric Encyclopedia

Esoteric Encyclopedia Entry of the Week: Ásatrú

Ásatrú, also known as “Heathenry” or Odinisim, is a Germanic form of neopaganism which believes in multiple deities – dedicating itself to the ancient gods and goddesses of the North. The focus of Germanic neopagans varies in degrees, and their organizations cover a wide spectrum of belief and ideals ranging from polytheism, sycretist (eclectic), Jungian, occult or mysticist.

According to Wikipedia:

In English usage, the genitive Asatruar “of Æsir faith” is often used on its own to denote adherents (both singular and plural).[9] This term is favoured by practitioners who focus on the deities of Scandinavia,[10] although is problematic as many Asatruer worship deities and entities other than the Aesir, such as the Vanir, Valkyries, Elves, and Dwarves.[11] Other practitioners term their religion Vanuatrú, meaning “those who honour the Vanir” or Dísitrú, meaning “those who honour the Goddesses”, depending on their particular theological emphasis.[12]

Within the community it is sometimes stated that the term Asatru pertains to groups which are not racially-focused, while Odinism is the term preferred by racially-oriented groups, however in practice there is no such neat division in terminology.[13]

There are notable differences of emphasis between Ásatrú as practiced in the USA and in Scandinavia. According to Strmiska and Sigurvinsson (2005), American Asatruar tend to prefer a more devotional form of worship and a more emotional conception of the Nordic gods than Scandinavian practitioners, reflecting the parallel tendency of highly emotional forms of Christianity prevalent in the United States.[14]

Much of Germanic Neopaganism’s origins are in 19th century romanticism, as the aboriginal cultures of Northern Europe came to be glorified. In the early 20th century, organised groups emerged in Germany and Austria. In the 1970s, new Germanic Neopagan organisations grew up in Europe and North America, although a broad division in the movement emerged between the folkish movement, who saw it as the indigenous religion of the Germanic peoples, and the universalist movement, who opposed strictly racialist interpretations. As present, established Germanic Pagan communities exist in Europe, North America, South America, and Australasia. A few adherents can even be found in South Africa.

To learn more about Ásatrú/Heathenry, check out the documentary below…

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