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Blutwölfin
Monday, July 25th, 2005, 01:16 PM
You probably read a lot about heathendom, about the religion of our ancestors. You know the Edda and all Gods. Maybe you've already attended a Blot or a midsummer celebration.

But do you really believe in the religion of the Norse?
Do you really practise it?
Are you still a member of the christian church?
Just intrested in what's Heathendom all about?

Please drop a few lines about your personal connection to the Norse Gods.

Ewergrin
Monday, July 25th, 2005, 04:28 PM
I think the most enlightening things about our beliefs is that it allows for the believer to adjust and adapt aspects to his or her life. My beliefs cannot be summed up in a few words and a poll.

The gods, to me, are glorified personifications of mankinds personalities. They are tools used to understand the greater scheme of things; to help people build a life of decency, with values and pride in what you are, and where you came from. The Gods, to me, although wonderful and enchanting, are a human invention, and as I said before, are learning tools. I love reading about them, and I respect them and I believe, because mankind has always felt the need to place a human face on the Greater Being, no matter what region or race.

My ultimate beliefs lie within the Earth and the Universe. The Earth is our Mother and our home. We are born of the earth, from her soil we arose and to her soil we shall return. We do not magically disappear when we die, but instead we decay, turn to dust and are absorbed by her.

But alas! We are not simply shells walking around, waiting to die! We have life-force; pure energy inside of us that guides our path. Everything has life-force, but man is not always able to see it, so we think that things are inanimate, but there is nothing that does not possess at least some life-force.



But do you really believe in the religion of the Norse?
As stated above, I believe in a religion of the Earth. A life of relative simplicity, in harmony with our natural surroundings. Respectful of our Mother and respectful and loving to our brothers and sisters. I believe in a religion of the Family; a clan, bonded by blood, who have given oaths to love and protect and fight for each other, no matter how fierce an enemy may lie in our path. I believe in religion of the Homestead; that we may claim a part of this earth as home, and that the children of that home, no matter where they go, can always claim that land as their home, no matter how many generations have passed. We may use the earths natural resources to build a structure that will in turn provide structure in our lives, a basic building block to provide a foundation, both physically and spiritually. I believe in a religion of ancestry and roots. That we are like trees in that we have roots, our ancestry, our beginnings. Those roots are behind, or underneath us, and they are buried and run deep, providing another foundation in our lives. The future lies before us, or above us, and as we grow older, we also grow higher. To obtain true balance, one must have deep roots, but reach for the future as well.


Do you really practise it?
I practice my beliefs every single day and I now that my efforts are appreciated because everytime I am in the presence of nature, I can feel the bond in my bones and in my blood, and I know that what I am doing is right.


Are you still a member of the christian church?
Absolutely not.

Mistress Klaus
Monday, July 25th, 2005, 06:00 PM
I am pretty much on par with the beliefs of Folkish....yet I am still prone to automatically trace the hammer in the air to protect my belongings, my homestead and sapling trees......Trace the Valknot....Give a respectful hail to any Raven that passes my way. Pour beer & food offerings to the dwarves...Draw the Helm of Terror to repel enemies etc.....

I have studied Norsk/Teutonic mythology and have found that it agrees with my personal values & way of life...It seems a natural part of my life. Nothing really changed...it only got better and reinforced my inner spirit.:)

However....
My 'god/goddess' is foremost, nature & trees....above any deity. The only reason we are existing! I worship the Trees...The Moon, the Sun & Tides...the Mountains, the Ice & Snow and mighty Thunder & Lightening.
The angry earth volcano spewing forth a chaos of pleasure (male).....and the deep orgasmic under-currents of earth-quake (female).

Life was mean't to be earthy & sexual and generally enjoyable.
We modern humans have just created alot of problems with the need for greed and other such silly desires.

No wonder I gaze up to the sky...

Ewergrin
Monday, July 25th, 2005, 06:17 PM
yet I am still prone to automatically trace the hammer in the air to protect my belongings, my homestead and sapling trees......Trace the Valknot....Give a respectful hail to any Raven that passes my way. Pour beer & food offerings to the dwarves...Draw the Helm of Terror to repel enemies etc.....

I hope I did not give the impression that I do not believe in the gods and our symbols. Of course I do. Woden, I believe! I offer sacrifices of food and drink in my own personal blot's. I offer drops of my own blood to the soil and plants when I garden. I call to ravens, owls, hawks, eagles and all mighty birds. I listen to trees and the voices in the wind. I give thanks and praise in Wodens name every day.


I have studied Norsk/Teutonic mythology and have found that it agrees with my personal values & way of life...It seems a natural part of my life. Nothing really changed...it only got better and reinforced my inner spirit.:)
Of course. You really have no choice in the matter. This goes back to what I was talking about having deep roots. Our roots run strong and deep, we couldn;t deny them even if we tried. It's our roots that define who we are today and what we will be in the future.



My 'god/goddess' is foremost, nature & trees....above any deity. The only reason we are existing! I worship the Trees...The Moon, the Sun & Tides...the Mountains, the Ice & Snow and mighty Thunder & Lightening.
The angry earth volcano spewing forth a chaos of pleasure (male).....and the deep orgasmic under-currents of earth-quake (female).
Oh, but were we both single, on the same continent! :)


Life was mean't to be earthy & sexual and generally enjoyable.
We modern humans have just created alot of problems with the need for greed and other such silly desires.
Aye. Greed and lust for power have ever been the crux of mankind.


No wonder I gaze up to the sky...
Of course you do! You are a mighty tree, with deep roots and ever growing mighty trunk with a canopy that faces the sky, and Thought and Memory fly above you...

Ewergrin
Monday, July 25th, 2005, 10:34 PM
What, no one has a reply to this very important question?

AndreasBolle
Tuesday, July 26th, 2005, 12:05 AM
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I, too, have the same beliefs as Folkish. I just have problems putting them into words. Thanks Folkish, you have done that for me! I was reared in the Christian belief, though not in a fundamentalist way. It was easy to turn to my heritage and honor the gods and goddess of my ancestors.
~Andreas

Ewergrin
Tuesday, July 26th, 2005, 12:38 AM
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I, too, have the same beliefs as Folkish. I just have problems putting them into words. Thanks Folkish, you have done that for me! I was reared in the Christian belief, though not in a fundamentalist way. It was easy to turn to my heritage and honor the gods and goddess of my ancestors.
~Andreas

Do not fear of sounding like a broken record, friend! I struggle with words every day. We get caught and confused in our word-hoards and let words define us, not the other way around. If someone else does an adequate job at describing how I feel about something, I have no problem paraphrasing it, or just agreeing with it to save time and energy.

Ryan Kirk
Tuesday, July 26th, 2005, 01:01 AM
I follow a similar belief as Folkish. I often find myself in awe of nature and the earth and I will often say a little something to it's magnificance. I have made blots before on my own and I often think going into a situation, "How would Thor react to this?" or "How would Odin deal with this?" I'm not sure if I take the myths to be literal fact. It's not something I've decided yet. But regardless they're extremely important to me and I use them as a guidebook to living.

Allenson
Tuesday, July 26th, 2005, 01:48 PM
I too venerate Nature as others have discussed so eloquently in this thread--and it is convenient to parcel up the elements of Nature in the various gods and goddesses.

Folkish mentioned the flexibility, if you will, of Heathendom and my approach is very flexible. I have no set times for reverence but instead, I pay homage and give thanks when the conditions are 'right' and I feel the strength of the common thread running through all--at night, sitting on my stone front step and watching the summer fog roll up the valley, leaving the hill tops as islands whilst the moon traverses the Southern sky, or when a thunderstorm, or Thunor rather, rumbles down from the Northwest bringing essential rain and a spectacular visual display of the powers that be, or something simple like a fresh strawberry from the garden--the gate into which, I wove with Maple saplings, the Ingwaz rune--fertility and fecundity....

Death and the Sun
Tuesday, July 26th, 2005, 08:05 PM
I chose the last option. I'm all for reviving old traditions and beliefs, but myself I am not into any religions, including all sorts of paganism.

Ewergrin
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005, 10:45 PM
You probably read a lot about heathendom, about the religion of our ancestors. You know the Edda and all Gods. Maybe you've already attended a Blot or a midsummer celebration.

But do you really believe in the religion of the Norse?
Do you really practise it?
Are you still a member of the christian church?
Just intrested in what's Heathendom all about?

Please drop a few lines about your personal connection to the Norse Gods.

What about you, hmmm? :)

Gorm the Old
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005, 11:59 PM
It seems to me that any thinking person must experience awe in the presence of the might and the aching beauty of the powers of nature, and if he reflect upon the wonders and mysteries of the human soul, how can he escape feeling awe ? This said, I avoid saying that I believe anything. Belief or faith is too often a disguise to conceal the reality of self-deception. I think that the reasoning behind it, if we were honest enough with ourselves to admit it, would be something like this : "I do not know if this is true. I cannot prove that it is true. However, I want it to be true, therefore it is true. I BELIEVE that it is true." If I don't know if a statement is true, I admit it. To me, this is the only honest thing to do. I may assume that it is true for the sake of argument or as a thesis for investigation, but I recognise that that is what I am doing. This position, of course, is agnosticism and it is the position which I have held for all of my adult life. One body of beliefs which appeals to me ćsthetically and intellectually and which I often assume to be valid as a working hypothesis for philosophical speculation is the advaita Vedanta, a school of Hinduism which assumes that an entity called Brahman is the only reality, the one without a second, and, therefore, the final, formal, efficient, and material cause of all that is. The personal aspect of Brahman, called Ishvara, can be an object of worship if so desired. So, do I take the Norse gods at all seriously ? Well....in a way. I practise rune-casting and always invoke Odinn as the Master of the Runes. If such an entity exists, his blessing and cooperation would surely be essential to success in casting the runes. Rune-casting doesn't always work no matter how it is done, so the fact that I have never casted the runes without invoking Odinn tells me nothing of whether it would work without my having done so. Note that this is still consistent with my agnosticism. I don't know whether invoking Odinn is necessary to successful rune-casting and I have certainly never said that I BELIEVE that it is.

Imperator X
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005, 01:24 AM
I practice paganism as well as Sakta Hinduism because I see them as being perfectly reconcilable. IMO, Hinduism is an organized, structured, and vital form of paganism which has maintained itself for hundreds of years againt the onslaught of Islam and Portuguese Catholic missionaries. Hinduism encompasses many different compatible philosophical ideas and doesn't conflict with science. Yes Hinduism has mythology like any other pagan pantheon, but those were made to illustrate certain deities or aspects of Brahman's attributes.

Recently, I have gotten more serious about Hinduism, I have read the Bhagavad Gita and the Rig Veda and I will read the Upanishads and the Laws of Manu soon. I have even adopted vegetarianism (while I still make allowances for sea-food), not only because of Hindu principles, but also because I am against the meat industry's causing deforestation and destruction of the Ozone layer. Also, the treatment of fowl by the industry is also inhumane, it rivals that of the Russian gulags in animal terms.

Hinduism, unlike Buddhism, makes quite practical allowances for self-defense and justified militarism. Whereas the Buddhist kingdom of Ghandara (present day Afghanistan) was wiped out by bloodthirsty Muslims, the Hindus will not lay down and die. In the Bhagavad Gita, the warrior prince Arjuna is conflicted in whether he should fight back againt the evil clan of the Kauravas. Krishna instructs him thusly:

"Do you think you are being wise by grieving for those who do not deserve grieving? The wise do not mourn for the living or the dead. It is impossible that there was ever a time when neither I, nor you, nor the kings were not, and there will never be a time when we shall cease to be." - The Bhagavad Gita, 2:11-2:12

Sifsvina
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005, 03:03 AM
"But do you really believe in the religion of the Norse?"
Yes! Not as an absolute truth but as an absolute way of life. While I do not necessarily believe in Thor as a corporal being with red hair and a hammer I think that belief is an important thing. To play them down as simply "archetypes" of nature is to do them a disservice. But I do try and look at them in all ways, to see it from many angles, that bit of agnosticism I shall always have:-) What I have found most useful is studying how our ancestors treated the religion. Believing in the Gods/Nature as deity helps to show us our correct place in the scheme of things. To see religion as an invention of man for the use of man is to put man above it all when we are really just a small piece of the fantastic puzzle. We fight to come out on top but this is the place of the greater beings not us. Am I making sense?:-)
"Do you really practice it?"
I practice it with every breath, with every time I look at a plant closely, with every time I feel the texture of a rock, with every time I look out on the ocean. I do not do Blottar as often as I should and I rarely celebrate the "festivals" (strangely a special Ostara Blot is the only one that always happens). Part of this is my own laziness and partly because I do not have access to a grove or even a private patch of land. When I have a community (it will happen some day) I will celebrate much more of the festivals as I see them more as a community oriented thing. I know people I could celebrate these with but I would have to put up with more disgusting liberal neo-pagans that I really care to;-) I rune galder most every night before sleeping, I touch a kiss to our Freyr statue that guards the door every time I come in, I wear my hammer everywhere except the shower, so I suppose that when I add it all up I do more than I think:-)
"Are you still a member of the christian church?"
Never was!
Wassail!

imported_Beowulf
Sunday, August 28th, 2005, 11:15 PM
I am a practising Heathen. I have not yet established my shrine properley so I do not carry out the blot I would like. Of course how you perform a blot is a matter of choice. I will soon be a member of the OR, and have joined a Hearth.

My personal connection to the gods? I have a close connection to Thunor and Woden. I have had two interesting dreams, but I do not believe I have ever been in the presence of the gods.

The Christian faith to me is alien. It was born in the Middle East and, to me, has no relevance to our people.

Sigurd
Saturday, October 8th, 2005, 09:01 PM
Very devoted Odinist, to the point that my age allows that. That should answer all questions about which option I chose.

Praetorianer
Thursday, February 16th, 2006, 10:58 PM
Iám really beliving inour all religion.
I love my way to think about live in seeing it out of the heathendom.I´ve read the EDDA and many other books about this theme.I believe into the nordic Gods and do (I think more than the most) to show my respect to them.

Leofric
Friday, February 17th, 2006, 06:09 AM
You probably read a lot about heathendom, about the religion of our ancestors. You know the Edda and all Gods. Maybe you've already attended a Blot or a midsummer celebration.

But do you really believe in the religion of the Norse?
Do you really practise it?
Are you still a member of the christian church?
Just intrested in what's Heathendom all about?

Please drop a few lines about your personal connection to the Norse Gods.

These are fascinating questions for me, and the responses have been even more fascinating.

I believe in all the gods of our ancestors as corporeal beings. I believe that they, like all gods (including Christ, whom I do worship), are men and women who have reached such a high level of spiritual perfection (though I don't think any of them — including Christ — is completely perfect) that we call them gods. I believe it is important for us to understand how all the gods think and act so that we can realize our own inner potential to become like them.

My religious practice is almost entirely Christian, and I am a member of the Christian church. My spiritual practice, on the other hand, is much like what everyone else has described. That is, the rituals and ceremonies I perform and attend are almost all Christian (when I am in Catholic areas, for example, I try to attend Mass daily), but my spiritual outlook is more focused on the earth, my family, my body, all the plants, animals, and people around me, the sky, and so forth. I have never attended a heathen religious ceremony (though I have attended Hindu ceremonies, Dylan y Gwallt Du :) ), but I would very much like to.

My father, also a firm Christian, always taught me as a child that it's important to recognize our innate heathen tendencies and to never discourage them in any way, because they are in important element of spirituality. He taught me that it is appropriate to want to thank Thor, for example, when we see a beautiful and stirring thunderstorm — if doing that is considered a heathen ritual, then I suppose I do perform some heathen rituals when I feel it's needed. But I guess that I consider such things to be part of my Christian beliefs.

I don't really know where all this puts me in terms of the poll. I do practice what I believe, but my beliefs don't fit into the traditional orthodoxy of either heathenry or Christianity.

freya3
Friday, February 17th, 2006, 11:43 PM
You probably read a lot about heathendom, about the religion of our ancestors. You know the Edda and all Gods. Maybe you've already attended a Blot or a midsummer celebration.

But do you really believe in the religion of the Norse?
Do you really practise it?
Are you still a member of the christian church?
Just intrested in what's Heathendom all about?

Please drop a few lines about your personal connection to the Norse Gods.

I believe in the Gods and Goddesses and pray to them on a daily basis. I feel a close bond to Freya and Frigga and look to them for guidance. I also have been teaching my daughter to pray to the Gods before meals and at bedtime.

I have incorporated some of the ritualisitic styles the Catholic church taught me(prayer and practicing the Faith at home by reading the Eddas and Havamal), but do not go to church or believe in all the teachings they believe in anymore. I was shocked in learning though just how similar the Pagan and christian religions are. I do not want to disrespect the christian religion, since I feel that is what helped me find what has brought me peace in finding the faith of Heathenism.

We have not found a kindred here where we live, but are stronger in our Faith now than I think we have ever been. I do feel it is important to take time out to thank who has brought you here and would love to go. But I want it to be the place I find the most comfort in and will keep looking. I have A LOT to learn, but am beginning to feel more comfortable in what I know and feel I am on the right track :thumbsup !

Sigurd
Saturday, February 18th, 2006, 01:02 AM
I must however say that I am still a member of the Catholic Church. My family won't let me exit. They tell me "when you are 18, then we won't impose on you, but..." :(

Well OK, on all fairness, my mother accepts the fact that I am Heathen, so, well just have to live with still "officially" being classed as a catholic... ;)

Ewergrin
Sunday, February 19th, 2006, 03:44 PM
It´s sometimes really interesting to see how old the members here are.
Just curious, but how so?

Most of the members are not minors, like Sigurd, if that's what you mean. In fact we have members of the elderly class here as well. :)

Sigurd
Sunday, February 19th, 2006, 05:52 PM
It´s sometimes really interesting to see how old the members here are.

Age is relative. It should not be about your age, it should be about your knowledge, maturity, etc. Of course Old Age commonly brings wisdom. It does not exclude a certain knowledge upon the matter in juvenile time.

I have seen people who are 15, going on 35; while I've seen 30 year olds that belong into Kindergarten.

:runaway

Praetorianer
Tuesday, February 21st, 2006, 12:12 PM
That´s right.It´s just about this discussion in another forum! ;)
I don´t wanted to say something against the younger members.I´m not SO old,too. :D

Sigurd
Tuesday, February 21st, 2006, 02:46 PM
That´s right.It´s just about this discussion in another forum! ;)
I don´t wanted to say something against the younger members.I´m not SO old,too. :D

Yes, what had "that thread" to do with my age? That the two posts I gave were a quotation from the Hávamál, and an explanation of Edmund Weber's "Kleine Runenkunde"? :doh

Please clarify!

Ewergrin
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006, 04:51 AM
That´s right.It´s just about this discussion in another forum! ;)
I don´t wanted to say something against the younger members.I´m not SO old,too. :D

Another forum is discussing this thread? Am I reading that correctly?

Gagnraad
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006, 05:25 AM
I have seen people who are 15, going on 35
Hmm... :runaway :D


Another forum is discussing this thread? Am I reading that correctly?
I think, although not sure, that this forum is discussing the subject of the age of certain members of that certain forum :)

Ewergrin
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006, 05:34 AM
I think, although not sure, that this forum is discussing the subject of the age of certain members of that certain forum :)
It's late here and I worked 14 hours today. Words are a blur on the screen. I may not be comprehending everything I read tonight. ;)

Gagnraad
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006, 05:51 AM
It's late here and I worked 14 hours today. Words are a blur on the screen. I may not be comprehending everything I read tonight. ;)
14 hours?:eek Damn, that's pretty long. So it's totally understandable ;) :)

Praetorianer
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006, 02:27 PM
Yes, what had "that thread" to do with my age? That the two posts I gave were a quotation from the Hávamál, and an explanation of Edmund Weber's "Kleine Runenkunde"? :doh

Please clarify!

I think we simply don´t understand each other.In the other forum I really think you´re acting like a kid because in the most cases you just read the things in my postings which could attack you.But it´s not my intention to attack you.It´s my wish that all people in this (and other nordish-) forums can come on one point so we can work together.In the next post you will say something about the "kid" in my post. :scratch:

(But I really hate this :doh smiely...)

Blutwölfin
Thursday, February 23rd, 2006, 04:02 PM
3. Personal Offenses to Members of this Board
are not welcome, as such you might suffer from
disciplinary procedures if you are considered
unneccesarily offensive.
Source: BuB Rules (http://www.blutundboden.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2)


So calm down everybody and stop being offtopic. Discuss the main question, not the age of members. If this idiocity will go on, I will close the thread and think about disciplinary procedures. Thank you.

whitebread
Sunday, February 26th, 2006, 09:41 PM
I practice my belief in all I say and do. I pull a rune daily to meditate on throughout the day whenever I can, and to keep myself in touch with the runic stream. I communicate with the appropriate God/Goddess for any situation I need guidance in. I respect and revere Nature and our Earth.

One fringe benefit of living Asatru with all the integrity I can is that, oftentimes, I am the only Asatru that non-heathens encounter and, as such, I become the representation of my belief system and what they say me do and hear me say reflects on all Heathens in their eyes.

I feel a special connection with Raidho. Not only does it represent right action but it also symbolizes, to me, my ascencion on my spiritual path.

Until I found Asatru, I had no spirituality that felt like it fit who I am or who I want to be, the kind of person I strive to be. So yes, I practice my belief, and I practice and I practice until this becomes an unconscious and reflexive part of everything I say or do.

Siegfried
Wednesday, March 15th, 2006, 07:24 PM
I believe in all the gods of our ancestors as corporeal beings. I believe that they, like all gods (including Christ, whom I do worship), are men and women who have reached such a high level of spiritual perfection (though I don't think any of them — including Christ — is completely perfect) that we call them gods. I believe it is important for us to understand how all the gods think and act so that we can realize our own inner potential to become like them.

So how do you think this could be achieved? Any rituals, texts or practices you would recommend? :)

Ćlfhere
Saturday, June 3rd, 2006, 07:45 PM
I chose the first option. I do invocations and offer ale or mead to the various gods irregularly, usually once a month but I'd like to get into the habit of doing it more often. I've made or bought most of the tools I use during a blot. For the most part I use a meadhorn, offering bowl, appropriate incense, and a candle. I'll meditate, say the invocation, share the drink, etc.

I find the more I do this the better I can connect with and understand our gods. I recently did a solitary blot to Ostara (the Allmother), who I consider the same goddess as Frigga and Freya. I felt that she heard me.

Near the end of this month my wife and I are meeting up with some other Odinic Rite members at a Viking Festival in northern Minnesota. We're planning a Midsummer Blot in a park up there. This will be the first time I will meet other Odinists in person, should be a rewarding experience.

Materials I use:

The Book of Blotar of the Odinic Rite
Old Norse Ritual for Worship and Magick
Old Norse Mysteries, Deities and Worship

One the Odinic Rite (http://www.odinic-rite.org/Gods&Godesses.html) website there are invocations listed on pages describing gods and goddesses.

Grimsteinr
Monday, July 31st, 2006, 10:31 PM
Hail Y'all,

And, yes, of course, I Practice what I Believe. I am Folkish Asatru/Odinist.
I see the Gods & Goddesses as Our Elder Kin, Our Blood and Our Bone.

I offer Blot, formally, with other Folks, usually my Kindred, about once, in a month. Sometimes it's more frequent, with DSW, & I.
I am Gothi to my Kindred. I founded it, about 12 years ago, a little more, at the request of some Friends.
A Gothi AISI, is a Leader-Priest-Headman-Facilitator-Organizer, and in our case, chief cook & Brewer. I provide the Feast after each Blot for my Kinsmen.

We have a stone Horg/Altar, out here on the hill, about 75 yrds, from our house.
DSW, Sharon helped me build it. At present it is loose/lain. We originally built it in our secluded backyard, in Indianapolis. When we moved down here ,we brought it with us. When we move it up the hill, among the trees, it will be cemented together again.

We have more or less a Family Kindred, with several Asa-kids and their Parents that Blot with us. I think at this time there are 4 Families, or 5.
We are active Members in several National Organizations.
We visit other Kindreds, on occasion, also. And, we welcome Guests from other Kindreds, as well. Hospitality is alive & well, at our Hof.

I think, if you really believe, you will be lead to join & Blot and Summel, as was the Custom, of Our Folk.
We do not dress in "Garb" for our regular Blots. Although, for Weddings and Memorial Services, We always Dress, appropriately.I've been Gothi/Minister, for a few.
We have done a couple Folkish Scottish Weddings. Been a few years though.
Last year we attended a Heathen Wedding, in Wisconsin, of some of our Friends.
I am accorded Elder status, by many of my Peers, because of my age & experience.

I know that when my time is done, I will rest with My Ancestors, and my Gods, the Aesir & the Vanir.
I know that a Part of me will live on in my Ancestors, to come, my Children,
Grandchildren, my Great-grandchildren, and on down through ages to come.

I have little patience with Folks who Blow Smoke up my drawers, about being Northern Heathen/Asatru/Odinist, and they don't do Blot or Pay Homage to
The Northern Gods.
YMMV.
'Til Later,
Grimsteinr-Gothi

"The Survival of Our folk is not Negotiable!"
S.McNallen

Master Vendus
Monday, November 20th, 2006, 10:20 AM
Yes, I really believe in the religoion of the North! It is the great religion. I respect our ancestors! Of course I attend Blot and midsummer celebration. About christian church... I have never been in this organisation and hane never believe in christian god! Our gods are true! Hail, Odin!
:wunjo: :ansuz: :fehu: :tiwaz: :raido: :uruz: :dagaz: :nauthiz: :isa: :raido:
:thorshamm

Sigurd
Monday, November 20th, 2006, 01:07 PM
Yes, I really believe in the religoion of the North! It is the great religion. I respect our ancestors! Of course I attend Blot and midsummer celebration. About christian church... I have never been in this organisation and hane never believe in christian god! Our gods are true! Hail, Odin!
:wunjo: :ansuz: :fehu: :tiwaz: :raido: :uruz: :dagaz: :nauthiz: :isa: :raido:
:thorshamm

Heilsa, Master Vendus. How about an introduction in this subforum (http://www.blutundboden.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=51) so we can get to know you a little better? :)

Leofric
Monday, February 5th, 2007, 03:30 AM
I believe in all the gods of our ancestors as corporeal beings. I believe that they, like all gods (including Christ, whom I do worship), are men and women who have reached such a high level of spiritual perfection (though I don't think any of them — including Christ — is completely perfect) that we call them gods. I believe it is important for us to understand how all the gods think and act so that we can realize our own inner potential to become like them.So how do you think this could be achieved? Any rituals, texts or practices you would recommend? :)
I'm finally ready to answer this, Siegfried. Sorry to have taken so long.

First let me address the matter of texts, since I think that's the easiest.

I think any text that's written about gods that lots of people consider sacred in some way is worth reading: the Bible, the Koran, the Rig Veda, the Avesta, the Tao Te Ching, the Edda, and on and on. I think any such text is likely to provide some helpful insight into the nature of the gods. The more you read those texts and cross-compare them, the more you come to understand what the basics of god-ness are — the universals that make all gods alike.

Most of these texts are written by people who have their own biases, of course, but even that can be helpful. As you come to understand what impression gods leave on the people who interact with them, you get a better understanding of how the gods themselves are.

Of course, the way you read the text is important, too.

The worst way to read is just to understand how other people envision the divine. This is reading like an anthropologist. It tells you a lot more about people than about the gods.

If you read holy writings in order to know what the gods want you to do to serve them, then you're also not getting as much out of it. Lots of Christians approach the Bible that way, and many heathens approach the Havamal (which some consider the only worthwhile portion of the lore) the same way. This is reading like a worshipper. Though it can help to read holy writings that way, since not only do gods tend to give good advice but the way they advise mortals is part of their nature, I think it can be far better to approach holy writings differently.

A better way to read holy writing is to put yourself into the mindset of the person who wrote it. The person who wrote it is someone who has had some degree of contact with the gods. If, as you read, you try to experience in your mind whatever it would take to make you express that experience the way it's written in the writings, then you're quite a bit closer to understanding the gods. This reading like a prophet, and it can lead to you yourself developing the skill of prophecy.

The best way to read holy writing is to try to put yourself into the mindset that would make you inspire someone to write what is written about you. It's usually necessary to take the previous step before reaching this one. Once you get past reading like a third-party observer, or a recipient of a message, or the bearer of the message, then you can start to read it like the originator of the message. This is, at once, the easiest and the hardest thing to do with holy writing. But once you start doing it, you're starting to think like a god. That leads you on the process I described earlier.

Now for rituals. When I think of rituals, I think of ceremonies that symbolically instruct. They are like performative scripture. I think it's good to acquaint yourself with all kinds of ritual, just as it's useful to acquaint yourself with all kinds of holy texts — Hindu temple worship, Islamic prayer services, Jewish Seder ceremonies, Catholic Mass, Masonic ritual, the Wiccan Great Rite, blots and symbels, and on and on. I have been involved in lots of different rituals of many different religions, and every single one of them has taught me something about the nature of the gods.

Again, it's important to experience ritual properly. If you approach it as an anthropologist (or worse, a tourist), you won't get any spiritual benefit from it. Furthermore, if you approach it as an adherent, you won't derive a great deal of benefit from it either. As with scripture, you want to start thinking of ritual from the point of view of a producer rather than a consumer — what thoughts might you have that you would want to use the vehicle of this ritual to express? Why would you want people to move in a particular way, or speak in a particular way? What would you want someone to understand that you think performing this ritual would help them understand?

Compared to scripture, ritual is much more helpful in teaching us the gods' nature, because it is easier to remember and it involves not just our minds but our bodies as well. However, the meaning is often a lot more cryptic and not nearly so transparent as it is in scripture. For that reason, it's best to read a lot of scripture before getting into a lot of ritual. Not that you should avoid ritual in the beginning, and not that you should stop reading scripture after beginning to study ritual — it's just that it's easier to understand ritual when you approach it from the basis of good understanding of scripture.

Now for practices.

The first and most important practice is prayer. If you want to understand what the gods are like, you have to talk with them. And when you talk with them, you have to believe that they're there, that they're listening, and that they will respond, clearly and unequivocally. If you see them as above you — so far above you that you can't communicate with them — then you'll never come to understand their nature. The first step to understanding them, as with anyone, is open communication. Expect it of them and you'll get it.

When the gods speak to me, they usually speak to me the same way I speak to them — a voice in my head, speaking my language. Sometimes they choose to communicate through other means, but it's most common that they treat me the same way I treat them.

As you study all the holy writings, all the holy rituals, and develop a steady communicative relationship with the gods, you come to have a much fuller understanding of the gods and their worldview.

The next step is to start behaving as they behave. You see best how they behave through this process of study and prayer that I've described, but I can think just offhand of two things that all gods seem to do: gods are almost universally described as parents; gods are almost universally described as teachers. Consequently, I think it's important to have children and to teach people (and especially your own children) in order to begin to understand, from an experiential perspective, what it is to be a god.

That's how I think a person can come to understand what the gods are like and begin to become like them.

Sigurd
Wednesday, February 7th, 2007, 10:46 PM
Thanks for the insights, Leofric. ;)

enslaved1896
Monday, March 26th, 2007, 03:47 AM
I will be honest here...

After all, "truth" is one of the NNV...

I have a hard time believing in the gods and goddesses.

I have been very spiritually (as well as) emotionally numb for the past 4 years.

However, I see Odinism and the creed that goes along with it as a very noble thing to follow, especially for someone of IE heritage.

But as for COMPLETELY believing in the existance of the gods... no I am not convinced yet, and I doubt I will be for a long while.

Flame away, folks...

Gagnraad
Monday, March 26th, 2007, 04:00 AM
Flame away, folks...
Why? It's like me: I do not worship any Gods, more so I give them my respects every now and then, as I hope they exist. So you could say that when it comes to worshippings gods, we are alike.

But the possible exception may be that the one and only thing I worship, as said before, is Nature itself.

enslaved1896
Monday, March 26th, 2007, 04:03 AM
Why? It's like me: I do not worship any Gods, more so I give them my respects every now and then, as I hope they exist. So you could say that when it comes to worshippings gods, we are alike.

But the possible exception may be that the one and only thing I worship, as said before, is Nature itself.

Different when you are a folkish heathen, but thanks for the regards :)

Ravensblood
Tuesday, January 1st, 2008, 05:02 AM
I'm still pretty new to Heathenism myself about a year now.

I have held a couple of blots...mainly my big one this year was Yule :D

I'm still learning allot so for right now I do not practice per say every day, though I commit myself to knowledge and I try to blot on the monthly celebrations.

I do believe in heathenism and the Gods in this way I believe them archetypes, physical, and metaphysical, more so as primordial nature itself as well as described during the fall of Ymir and creation as well as I view them as ancestors that I have yet to know very well. I believe in them with in and without.

I also believe in the Alfar, Disir, land wights and Tomte and or House Ghost as well as fletches.

I've never seen them.... but you know I do feel them...it feels right not like when I was trying to be a Christian for 10 years...

Veratýr
Friday, April 4th, 2008, 11:07 PM
I really do believe in the Norse gods and practice the old ways. I have never been a member of a Christian church, and I've only been once when I was younger because I had to stay at a friends house over the weekend while my parents were away and they dragged me to church. I never believed any of it, and I never understood why Christians have to read a storybook about a Hebrew zombie in order to be "enlightened". I've also never understood how people could so easily convert from their many ancestral gods to one singular God.

Brynhild
Saturday, April 12th, 2008, 06:53 AM
But do you really believe in the religion of the Norse?
I can't really justify my beliefs in it without a written thesis, but I'll simply say yes I do.
Do you really practise it?
I've attended a few blots and conducted one of my own recently. I do my best to uphold the Nine Noble Virtues, study the texts as best as my time allows, honour my ancestry, simply to live honourably.
Are you still a member of the christian church?
Ye Gods no. I turned my back on mainstream religion when I was a teenager.
Just intrested in what's Heathendom all about?[/I][/B]
I'm more than just interested in it. It's my way of life.

Edenkoben
Thursday, April 17th, 2008, 11:28 PM
It's been interesting to see the many discussions in this thread about gods and nature. I don't worry whether the gods are beings separate (somehow?) from nature, or what some people call Jungian archetypes, or whether they are somehow superhuman. I'm heathen because to be so is, for me, coextensive with living.

In my experiences (and I have had direct, empirical, experiences with the gods--I don't say this because I think I'm special, I'm not), I don't feel a separation between gods and nature. In fact, I've experienced the gods AS nature, and. natures (I use the plural deliberately: tree-nature, still water-nature, moving water-nature, raven-nature, etc.) as gods.

This is VERY hard to place into words because the words are failing to describe exactly my experiences. But Odin-in-the-trees and Odin-as-the-wisdom-of-the-trees, Thor-in-the-sky and Thor-as-the-power-in-the-sky are in the right direction. And, of course Frigga-as-nurturing-impulse and Frigga-as-love-expression and Frigga-as-delighted-field-of-wild-flowers...

And it looks idiotic, of course, with all those hyphens.

So the question "do you practice it?" is a little odd to me; akin to "do you practice living, breathing, do you practice the joy of watching bees work or practice the thrill of the strange silence of turkeys walking across your back yard?" I guess I don't practice it, it's more like "I'm immersed in it."

But, with deepest respect to Egil (as always), I don't feel that I'm personifying non-person experiences in nature. Odin is VERY much Odin, and Thor is different from him, and Frigga intensely different from the two of them.

Maybe 'lifeliving' is better than 'practice.'

Words.

I can add this: once I awoke to my own blood (an experience that began as I carried my Grandfather's body to his grave), I saw christianity for the strange, unbefitting, and foreign faith that it is for me. This is NOT a snipe against christianity, but an acknowledgement that it's NOT an authentic faith for my blood.

Prior to Odin, I had never had an authentic spiritual experience.

Finally, with respect to others, I'm at a loss to understand how christianity and heathenism are co-compatible. Tried to understand this with Koos on another thread w/out success. I sure don't get it though.

Hail the gods of the North! And hail too to the people here.

:ansuz::tree5:

Veratýr
Friday, April 18th, 2008, 05:55 AM
Does anyone else see 2 ravens whenever you're in a secluded natural setting like a forest or a riverbed? I always seem to have 2 ravens watching over me whenever I go to places like that.

enslaved1896
Monday, April 28th, 2008, 12:49 AM
Does anyone else see 2 ravens whenever you're in a secluded natural setting like a forest or a riverbed? I always seem to have 2 ravens watching over me whenever I go to places like that.

On the contrary, I see them everywhere.

One of the nice little "cues" we get from the High Ones....

Kriemhild
Tuesday, January 27th, 2009, 04:36 PM
Absolutely I believe in the gods, wights, idisi, and other creatures/spirits, though like others, I would say that my belief is foremost in Nature and its potency and power. In a way I guess I am a pantheist, in that I see the gods as extensions of the powers of nature (albeit separate extensions), among other things (such as archetypes of the human psyche).

Yes, I do practice - I hold blots and celebrations with my family at the appropriate times and turnings of the seasons. I don't "pray" in the Christian sense of the word, though, nor do I meditate. I consider those to be more Eastern practices, specifically the latter.

For me, Heathenism is about living a life of honor and truth, serving one's family and community, and the seeking of knowledge and wisdom through lore, learning, and Nature.

Hrimskegg
Saturday, February 14th, 2009, 10:44 AM
But do you really believe in the religion of the Norse?

I certainly do.

Do you really practice it?

Yes, and I facilitate it's practice with other people.

Are you still a member of the christian church?

Not for a long time.

I have a very close connection to the lesser known deity Thorri. The best mention of him is in the Flately Book here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/ice/is3/is316.htm He is also the founder of the January feast Thorrablot.

triedandtru
Tuesday, March 17th, 2009, 04:01 PM
I follow a kind of blend between Norse and Celtic Paganism. I consider it to be more of a way of life rather than just the rituals or festivals. It is how you conduct yourself.

Scott Wodenson
Friday, May 8th, 2009, 04:44 AM
Ves Heil!

I practice what I believe in everyday life. I remember how strange all of this was to me when I first started down the path of my ancestors. Constantly getting little nudges here and there, certain signs and odd coincidences, the showing up of animals in places where pattern did not fit normally such as deer in broad daylight in the yard while I'm standing there going about my business. Birds particularly Raptors and and other fowl such as Odin's birds making themselves known to me. Not to mention catching little things here and there out of the corner of my eye. Speaking with something unseen and getting results in particular the landvaettir! All of this was hard to get use to, even more so when some one decided to take up residence within the home.

But on a whole day to day, when such things occur or strange happenings of benefit take place, I always smile a little. And now and then I'll give a simple thank you. I've also in the last year finally have found other heathens. The experience has lead to greater things up to now, which as of a few weeks ago a Vestead has been built here on our place. I had already had Horg for the Wights and what have you but no places for ancestors and gods, now this place is coming together. The more beneficial I am to this place, the more it's beneficial to me. Having such a strong connection with ones home and land cannot even be put into words it's akin to that of kinship!

So now I attend blot with the group, I go about my daily task here, and eventually will begin hold blot here when a few more things are acquired.

Reynard
Wednesday, June 17th, 2009, 09:35 PM
yes yes yes i do.

stand proudly with our gods and ancestors!

If there are any folk who wish to get invovled we moot throughout the Lancashire/Cheshire/Manchester Area.

Just pm me.

Odin Hael.

Ulfvaldr
Saturday, November 14th, 2009, 12:57 AM
I do, my problem is that where I live there are no other Heathens around here, so all I do, I do alone

D. H. Yeager
Saturday, November 14th, 2009, 02:19 AM
Yes, I practice heathenistic beliefs. Unfortunately I must keep it small scale due to my families christian beliefs. Also in my area there are no formal groups which prevents group celebrations. I perform personal blots and comemerate special occasions with scaled down sumbels as well as praying to the Gods daily. The religion has become a way of life. I have imbraced the nine noble values of Asatru: Courage, Truth, Honor, Fidelity, Disipline, Hospitality, Industrilousness, Self Reliance, Perserverance.

Lothringen
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009, 09:12 AM
Among then Franks, to who I identify, we have no evidence of Asatru, Odinism,... clergy.
Even before their arianism (which is NOT arYanism ) then catholicism conversion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryanism

The way to worship Wotan was to be brave in battle, the one to worship Donner to perform iron working (rather than buying from outside the Federation), Frigga was to keep a good household,...

The Fürst (warlord) was the bishop and each family chief to priest.
Perhaps some people with better voice, musical knowledge could act as skalds when the tribe met around the fire but there was no druidic-like ceremony until arrival of christianity.

So I practice this way, but studying, then teaching my family (and sometimes friends) the legends of old time. I make a point giving Historical origins (Arminius, fall of the Merovingian, Attila & Idilko,...)
When some thunderbolts frighten my child, I explain it is Donner who prevent monsters to come to Earth (I use Marvel "Mighty Thor" cartoons to prove that.

I make sure that my book and DVD collection (expecially those for children) have a quota of classic germanic stuff (not only Mythos but Andersen & Grimm brothers stories as well) or that are seen in a germanic way. For example I explain that She-Ra, Princess of Power is a Walkyrie.

For pure religious stuff, Clodwig made the choice and we go to church like him.
For us Ragnarok prophecy was true, the old gods died for the new one to come. But they still lives through legends

Witta
Saturday, January 2nd, 2010, 10:49 PM
I am interested in the stories and worldview but I am not religious. I don't going around singing to trees and I don't believe thunder is made by a man with a big hammer.

Ediruc
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 10:04 PM
Ohhh...woops...I clicked the wrong one :P I meant to hit number three. I'm just very, very, very interested in the Norse pantheon and gods. Can't say I so much believe in them.

Angus
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 10:17 PM
Im an Asatruar, with Odin being my patron. I do what i can to pratice daily, but having no other Heathens near me and with a christian family it proves to be difficult, but i manage :D

Angus
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010, 04:58 AM
I am interested in the stories and worldview but I am not religious. I don't going around singing to trees and I don't believe thunder is made by a man with a big hammer.
Interested in the stories, eh? What you're saying shows you have MAYBE read the title and a sentence or two, but all in all you're basically saying you know nothing. Maybe you should re-read some info on Heathenism.

Eccardus Teutonicus
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010, 06:12 AM
You probably read a lot about heathendom, about the religion of our ancestors. You know the Edda and all Gods. Maybe you've already attended a Blot or a midsummer celebration.
...
Please drop a few lines about your personal connection to the Norse Gods.

I am presently developing a theological grounding for our religion, as I am convinced we are no better than the Wiccans or worse if we do not begin taking our religion seriously enough to establish a real theology.


But do you really believe in the religion of the Norse?

Yes. I believe it because I have seen it and experienced it; I am justified in my faith, for faith alone is the basis of any religion. I have yet to find a community I can practise with, but I am untroubled by this; so many are obsessed with ritual, sacrifice, and the practise of the religion they rarely question what they really believe. It is easy to latch onto a structure and a system that gives one comfort and allows one to attack Christianity without making the effort to understand either what one supposedly believes or what one is attacking; it is the realm of the Higher Members of our society to put forth the intellectual effort and exert the spiritual force to believe and be content in their own justification by this belief.

I can go into more detail at request.


Do you really practise it?

I practise my religion regularly; I practise alone, as I said, I have yet to find a community in which I feel my trust can be placed for the preservation of our faith-- too many so-called "kindreds" are nothing more than long-haired white-priders more interested in racial purity than in their actual ancestors and the preservation of a spiritual Folk (indeed, many cannot comprehend a spiritual Folk at all, and accuse me of cultural Marxism when I mention it). Nevertheless, I keep the holy days-- the real, historical holidays, none of this silly "Ostara" nonsense-- and I hold Sigrblót before all major undertakings.

I pray weekly, sometimes bi-weekly, and dedicate myself, a scholar and librarian, to the praise and worship of Óđinn, by whom I feel somewhat justified in my lonely practice and wandering. Ţórr has also been good to me, and I am not alien to the worship of Forseti, or Týr, or Heimdall. The Alföđr, however, remains the chief focus of my prayer and worship, for he has a habit of answering my requests.


Are you still a member of the Christian church?

No. Not of any of them-- if I believed in a single, unified Christian church I would still be a Christian. The "Body of Christ" is false; this is not to say Christianity is a lie, mind you-- it is a religion, it is a binding unity that has lent itself as a structure to the construction of Occidental Civilisation. What one thinks of that Civilisation and where it has gone is entirely one's own opinion, but to deny the centrality of Christianity to Western Civilisation, that is the lie.


Just intrested [sic] in what's Heathendom all about?

I am unsure what is being asked here but I imagine it's a follow-up to the question preceding it. Correct me if I am wrong and I will be more than happy to answer in detail whatever is being asked.

KWulf
Thursday, January 28th, 2010, 01:55 PM
I am proud to state that i am a Folkish Heathe. 'Heathen' meaning i do believe that the gods of Germanic tradition are real, sentient entities who are behind the forces of nature and society, and 'folkish' meaning i think that the European Gods should be worshipped by only those with European ancestry.

I was baptised a catholic but the times i have attended church and prayed to Yaweh can be counted on one hand. Stopped being what one would call a 'lapsed christian' some years ago when i first began to take an interest in my rich culture. Now i dont belive that one can be a christian and a heathen, our ancestors tried this before and they failed to merge the two sucessfully.

Though i strive to live my life according to the ideals of my forbear's and their creed (such as following the basic Nine Noble Virtues and such), i'm afraid i havent ever attended a group ritual or practiced many rites by myself as i've been unsure of how to do it and have spent much of my time on research on Germanic culture. However i now feel i have come to the point in my life hwere i am ready to take the next step on my spiritual path and i am going to soon join a heathen organisation where i will get the chance to participate in my religion with others as it is meant to be.

OnePercent
Sunday, January 31st, 2010, 02:09 AM
I do practice my beliefs, though I prefer to do it in a private setting. I give blot to the Gods on all the important holidays, (Ostara, Mayday, Yuletide, ect.). And occasionally I will give blot on other occasions as well. in addition to offering sacrifice to the Gods, I also like to give sacrifice in honor of my now deceased grandparents and to older ancestors I have never met.

I have condsidered joining a kindred, but these days I have just been too busy working and being a parent. Also, one of my favorite aspects of heathenism is the freedom to worship in my own way, I am a little worried that joining a group of other Asatruar might influence my personal worship a bit too much.

Angus
Sunday, January 31st, 2010, 03:18 AM
'folkish' meaning i think that the European Gods should be worshipped by only those with European ancestry.

There shouldnt even be a word for that. If your not of European ancestry you have no right to be worshipping our gods.

Reshki
Sunday, January 31st, 2010, 01:30 PM
I haven't read the other responses, so they won't color my response.

I do believe, but not in the way I've heard most heathens describe themselves to me.

For one, I believe they are real beings. I don't believe that they live in certain mountains or places on this earth. I do believe they have walked among us, appearing to us in ways that speak to our blood. Sometimes in dreams, sometimes as (not to borrow from other religions, but. . .) avatars. Kind of like Christ. Have you noticed the tales and stories are always about the far past, whenever they were written? IMO this is because the Gods walked among us when the world was new, and so was humanity. They took us in hand and taught us. Those lessons are now passed down in our blood. One reason I hate mixed race marriages so, is I think it blurs the blood memory of their offspring, which is why there are so many spiritually hollow people walking about.

I am heathen, but not pagan. What I mean by that, is I don't worship the trees or animals or the earth itself. Rather they are created constructs. They, as well as the things too small to see, and the vastness of the stars and galaxies, are the signature of the Gods and their greatness. It is a gift, a gift to us from Them. It is something we are given to see Them, and something we are given to tend. So the lesser creatures depend on our stewardship, we depend on the Gods. It is also our responsibility to treat this gift well and with reverence and responsibility.

My relationship with the Gods? It's an interesting one.

I grew up in New England. We lived in a heavily forested area, with lots of brooks, streams, rocks, and a big lake near our house. There was also a graveyard I walked through to get home from school.

When it was dark, especially in the fall and winter, when the trees had shed their leaves and stood naked, or I was in the graveyard at dusk or after dark, I'd often see this woman. She was tall, dressed in a sort of black gown. She had shiny, raven black hair and eyes such a bright blue, they were almost transparent. She was always at a distance. Sometimes she'd be in profile, sometimes, she'd face me and smile. I never got close. I'd see her in dreams, flanked by ravens, always at night, often in the full moon.

When I got old enough and started researching my ancestry and the beliefs of my ancestors, I came across a Goddess bearing a strong resemblance to the woman I had seen. Called The Morrigan by my Irish ancestors, Bean Shidhe to my Scot ancestors. Researching my Norwegian ancestry, I came upon two references that resemble the same woman. One, there is a close relationship between The Morrigan and the Valkyrie. One, is that both choose the ones who are to die in battle, the other is the association with ravens, such as in Hrafnsmál, which has a Valkyrie speaking to a raven. The other I came across because when reading about Nirse mythology, the name Skadi jumped out to me (doing this research is what helped me find this board). I didn't know why at first, except that I am always most comfortable in the winter cold and snow, love to bowhunt, have a particular kinship with dogs ans wolves, and have skied and showshoed since I was 6. But then I ran across the description of Skadi as the "Queen of Shades". Descriptions of her all seem to have her with translucent blue eyes, and although she's usually seen as a light, almost platinum blonde, I've seen a couple references that have her with black hair. Her warlike nature and hot temper are another link between Skadi, The Morrigan, Bean Shidhe, and Valkyries. It explains the strong draw I have to all of them, although it is interesting to me that, being a man, I'd be "called" exclusively by a particular Goddess (or set of them, if you don't believe they are the same entity).

R. Stoffel
Sunday, March 14th, 2010, 06:12 AM
The Christian faith to me is alien. It was born in the Middle East and, to me, has no relevance to our people.

This, I too have thought, and firmly hold it among my beliefs. An alien religion that is forced upon a people has no place in representing their beliefs.


Does anyone else see 2 ravens whenever you're in a secluded natural setting like a forest or a riverbed? I always seem to have 2 ravens watching over me whenever I go to places like that.

I do often see them in pairs. They are marvelous creatures.

Blod og Jord
Wednesday, April 7th, 2010, 04:31 PM
To me it's part of everyday lifestyle. It reminds me of my identity and my ancestors' identity.
I practice it otherwise it would be just a fairy tale for me.
I practice both in private and gathering with friends.

Grimsteinr
Wednesday, April 7th, 2010, 09:38 PM
I am Asatru. So, generally we use the Icelandic names for the Gods and Goddesses. We do somtimes use the Germanic names also.
Our Kindred has been practicing Blot, since 1994, or so, as a Kindred.
It was sort of more loosely gathered before that.
Our Blot and Sumbel rituals are composed of parts from the Asatru Folk Assembly, the Odinic Rite, the Irminenschaft, and things we have personally written. It has evolved over the years.We do not dress in garb, but wear nice clean, casual clothes.
We pretty much do the same series of Blots each year, Seasonal, Remembrances and dedicated to various Gods & Goddesses.

Yule is our really big Season. We do a Mother Night Blot and a 12th Night Blot.
We generally have from 10 to 15 Folks at our Blot. As the Gothi, I lead the Blots and DSW(Dear Sweet Wife) and I provide the Feast.
We do on occasion Welcome Guests, individuals or from various Kindreds that we are familiar with and have Bloted with. And, We do visit other Kindeds in our Area. There are several Kindreds besides our own in the State.
We have attended, DSW & I, various large National Asatru Gatherings of the National Organizations we belong to.
We believe that the practice of Asatru, our Heathen Religion, contributes to the Growth of Our Folk and Our Folkways.

BlohmSon
Monday, June 14th, 2010, 04:21 AM
But do you really believe in the religion of the Norse?
Do you really practise it?
Are you still a member of the christian church?
Just intrested in what's Heathendom all about?
Please drop a few lines about your personal connection to the Norse Gods.
In response to the first two questions: Yes, though I am just cutting my teeth on everything. Having found it only in the last 8 months and feeling the connection between Heathendom and my personal beliefs I am still learning the basics of it.
In response to the third question: according to the church...yes. according to me...NO!!! Thats what happens when your parents are closet bible-thumpers and try to shove it back down your throat.
For the fourth question: Not just interested, see my previous answers.

HeathenAmerican
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010, 02:02 PM
Yes, I am a devout follower Odin, as well as particulary fond of Tyr. I do not "pray or worship" I "respect and communicate" with our Gods.

I believe that communicating with our All Father, and being culturally and genetically strong helps us spin the wyrd into a midgard we will actually want to live in, not this multicultural hell hole.

I do blots, and rune casting, as well as try to eat more tradiotionalist meals and anything else I can find to do to remain culturally strong to my German/Scottish/Icelandic elements.

I try to study Old Norse, and take our indigineous really seriously.

I guess im a Radical Germanicist/Radical Odinist :p

William Frost
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010, 03:23 AM
I practice my beliefs with every breath I take. I live for the Gods and I will die for them. I see everything as a great creation. There is not a time I can recall that I am not thinking about the Gods. I was young when I denied the christ. A few years later I realized that the only logical explanation for life was the Gods. That led me into research of my heritage and family. Where I am from I am only ridiculed for my beliefs. That will never stop me from believing what I know is right. Through this website I keep learning. I celebrate the Gods every day.

arvak
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010, 04:19 PM
Every day is a day for worship.
In quiet tranquility I raise the horn resounding to the heavens.
As it echos 4 times to the compass points.
I then touch the gods and goddessess by naming them.
From here I call the valkeria to the 4 points.
By the flame of fire they descend in wings of light as the 4 fire sticks are ignited. Fire lighter make algiz rune from above head downwards.
In deep silence the breath alters from the top to the bottom of the body until I am in a semi tranced state.
From here I perform their sacred postures to the algiz rune to the 4 points
Then the horn blows once I call the name of the diety for that day.
I breathe and reciete the sacred name
the breath alters again this time the out breath
until I am in tranquil inner silence
I then speak words to this energy for the day ahead
I wait for a inner feeling,image or inpulse.
Raising the horn I thank them
Make 3 toasts to them
To their beauty
To their wisdom
To their protection
Close the circle of fire
By naming them
pour what ever is left of the liquid into the sink or drain.
Thank the dwarf spirits.
Blow out candles and release vk into the air.
Finished.

The days even if stressed are good.
A quitness focused inner self always follows one with this process.
Hope you find this helpfull.

thunderwald
Sunday, August 1st, 2010, 08:23 PM
I believe in the gods and respect them, but they seem often distant.

Closer are ones ancestors and the wights and nature. That's the real level of religion I honor.

Forest_Dweller
Monday, September 20th, 2010, 06:00 PM
I think we need more books that can direct us in our faith (ritual practices and ways to honour the gods) and a spiritual place/temple to honour our gods and come together. I think Odinism/Asatru will become a lot bigger if one is built and Wicca and other new age practise will become less popular.

William Frost
Monday, September 20th, 2010, 06:11 PM
I think we need more books that can direct us in our faith (ritual practices and ways to honour the gods) and a spiritual place/temple to honour our gods and come together. I think Odinism/Asatru will become a lot bigger if one is built and Wicca and other new age practise will become less popular.

Very much agreed. I wish there was a way we could all come together as well. Our people seem so distant. Skadi is a great way to learn and communicate. I just wish there was a way we could all communicate in person. I mean, nothing beats verbal conversation.

Ullrson
Monday, September 20th, 2010, 10:30 PM
My family is Christian (they still follow the Nine Noble Virtues for the most part, especially my fathers side which I identify with more) and I too don't know of any groups around me so I practice in solitude. I also feel more closer to the land wights and my ancestors, I agree with Kveldulf Gundarson's theory that our ancestors where closer to them than the gods. I still honor the gods, I felt closest to Odin at first, but have also grown a deep admiration towards Ullr as shown by my screen name despite how we don't know much about him.

Forest_Dweller
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010, 12:38 AM
Very much agreed. I wish there was a way we could all come together as well. Our people seem so distant. Skadi is a great way to learn and communicate. I just wish there was a way we could all communicate in person. I mean, nothing beats verbal conversation.

Very true and I think it would combat this whole agenda of creating division and apathy. We don't really have a place we can all congregate and feel connected and strong as a people. To me religion isn't just about having faith it is about cultural ties and the spiritual connection with eachother. This is why Muslims are making so much progress manipulating our already limp and weak governments. Divided we are weak together we are strong:thumbup

Grimsteinr
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010, 01:27 PM
I think we need more books that can direct us in our faith (ritual practices and ways to honour the gods) and a spiritual place/temple to honour our gods and come together. I think Odinism/Asatru will become a lot bigger if one is built and Wicca and other new age practise will become less popular.

Off the top of my head I can name some for you.
There's "A Book Of Troth" by Edred Thorsson. There is "Germanic Heathenry" by James Coulter. There is "Teutonic Religion" by Kveldulf Gundarson.
The Wodening brothers, Eric and Swain, both have books out on Anglo-Saxon Religion and Rituals. Then there is "The Book of Blothar", available from The Odinic Rite.

That's a few to get you started. Some of these have been available since the 1990's. And they are still in print, 3rd or 4th printing. DSW & I have all those, on our book shelves. There are a couple more, I could find, I'm sure if I went to the shelves and looked about.
But, you do have to look for them, search for them.

Then, if you read the Articles on the web sites of the Asatru Alliance, the Asatru Folk Assembly, The Odinic Rite, Irminenschaft, or Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, you can find a lot of good material, relative to the Northern Gods, the Aesir and the Vanir, and how to relate to Them.
There is a plethora of information out there on the Web, thousands of pages.
But, you sort of have to search for them with a good search engine.

One good book, like "A Book of Troth", "Germanic Heathenry", or "The Book of Blothar" that gives you the pattern for a Blot and a Sumbel, will get you started. And, after you read "The Poetic Edda" and "The Prose Edda", to gain information on the Ancestral Gods, to get a little closer to Them, you are on your way.

I can't speak about Europe. But in the USA, there are several Kindreds that meet regularly, in nearly every State, to Offer Blot and Sumbel to Our Gods, generally at least once a month. Some Kindreds have weekly study groups as well. It may be a couple hours drive each way, but how much is it worth to you? If you search diligently you might find several groups to choose from.
In Indiana, a smaller State, there are 3 or 4. In Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee as well.

The Asatru Folk Assembly has a couple large yearly "Gatherings" in California.
The Asatru Alliance has a large yearly Althing, with 18 or 20 Kindreds represented. These are Gatherings of 80 to 150 Folks
In England, I believe the Odinic Rite has Hearths in several cities. And they have a large Gathering each year for the whole Organization.

But, Heathenry is definitely Not Monolithic. There is very little Dogma and doctrine.........But there is some. There are some very Basic Beliefs required.

I hope this answers some of the questions. I have been involved for nearly 20 years. if there's any more questions, I'm happy to help, if I can.

Rev. Jupiter
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010, 07:37 PM
Rituals are exoteric representations of esoteric processes and practices.

The sufficiently enlightened person has no need of ritual, for all of the actions made during the ritual can be made internally during periods of quiet contemplation.
Of course, rituals serve the purpose of outwardly illustrating the core concept to those who haven't quite grasped it yet, but to those who do understand, they serve little purpose.

Hrodnand
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010, 08:57 PM
The sufficiently enlightened person has no need of ritual, for all of the actions made during the ritual can be made internally during periods of quiet contemplation.
Of course, rituals serve the purpose of outwardly illustrating the core concept to those who haven't quite grasped it yet, but to those who do understand, they serve little purpose.

The original purpose of a ritual or ceremony in germanic heathen culture was to bring the community together. It was a crucial manifestation of the collective common sense which otherwise embraced the community as a whole. It was a common goal or a common ancestor which brought people together for a ritual or ceremony.
In this sense germanic spirituality is quite different from the eastern philosophy you seem to apply here.

Forest_Dweller
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010, 01:00 AM
Off the top of my head I can name some for you.
There's "A Book Of Troth" by Edred Thorsson. There is "Germanic Heathenry" by James Coulter. There is "Teutonic Religion" by Kveldulf Gundarson.
The Wodening brothers, Eric and Swain, both have books out on Anglo-Saxon Religion and Rituals. Then there is "The Book of Blothar", available from The Odinic Rite.

That's a few to get you started. Some of these have been available since the 1990's. And they are still in print, 3rd or 4th printing. DSW & I have all those, on our book shelves. There are a couple more, I could find, I'm sure if I went to the shelves and looked about.
But, you do have to look for them, search for them.

Then, if you read the Articles on the web sites of the Asatru Alliance, the Asatru Folk Assembly, The Odinic Rite, Irminenschaft, or Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, you can find a lot of good material, relative to the Northern Gods, the Aesir and the Vanir, and how to relate to Them.
There is a plethora of information out there on the Web, thousands of pages.
But, you sort of have to search for them with a good search engine.

One good book, like "A Book of Troth", "Germanic Heathenry", or "The Book of Blothar" that gives you the pattern for a Blot and a Sumbel, will get you started. And, after you read "The Poetic Edda" and "The Prose Edda", to gain information on the Ancestral Gods, to get a little closer to Them, you are on your way.

I can't speak about Europe. But in the USA, there are several Kindreds that meet regularly, in nearly every State, to Offer Blot and Sumbel to Our Gods, generally at least once a month. Some Kindreds have weekly study groups as well. It may be a couple hours drive each way, but how much is it worth to you? If you search diligently you might find several groups to choose from.
In Indiana, a smaller State, there are 3 or 4. In Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee as well.

The Asatru Folk Assembly has a couple large yearly "Gatherings" in California.
The Asatru Alliance has a large yearly Althing, with 18 or 20 Kindreds represented. These are Gatherings of 80 to 150 Folks
In England, I believe the Odinic Rite has Hearths in several cities. And they have a large Gathering each year for the whole Organization.

But, Heathenry is definitely Not Monolithic. There is very little Dogma and doctrine.........But there is some. There are some very Basic Beliefs required.

I hope this answers some of the questions. I have been involved for nearly 20 years. if there's any more questions, I'm happy to help, if I can.

yes your right it isn't very dogmatic, however every organisation seems to have synonymous versions of the Nine Noble Virtues, which I think is good. Anyway thankyou for the recomendations:thumbup

Rev. Jupiter
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010, 07:12 AM
The original purpose of a ritual or ceremony in germanic heathen culture was to bring the community together. It was a crucial manifestation of the collective common sense which otherwise embraced the community as a whole. It was a common goal or a common ancestor which brought people together for a ritual or ceremony.

Did I ever dispute that?

In what way does stating that ceremonies were used to bring the community together disprove that religious rituals are an external illustration of internal processes? In fact, it does naught but prove my point.


In this sense germanic spirituality is quite different from the eastern philosophy you seem to apply here.

Junk science separates Western spirituality from "eastern philosophy", but an accurate examination of the concepts present in all of the branches of tree reveals core concepts that are indistinguishable.

Hrodnand
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010, 09:46 AM
In what way does stating that ceremonies were used to bring the community together disprove that religious rituals are an external illustration of internal processes?

Because religious ritual in your context seems to be different than a heathen ritual among early germanics and this is an essential point not to be dismissed. Individual enlightenment in that sense was not important for them, rather a sense of communal belonging which prevailed and was considered most important above any other individual spiritual or transcendental experience.




Junk science separates Western spirituality from "eastern philosophy", but an accurate examination of the concepts present in all of the branches of tree reveals core concepts that are indistinguishable.

What exactly do you mean by junk science?

Rev. Jupiter
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010, 01:31 PM
Because religious ritual in your context seems to be different than a heathen ritual among early germanics and this is an essential point not to be dismissed. Individual enlightenment in that sense was not important for them, rather a sense of communal belonging which prevailed and was considered most important above any other individual spiritual or transcendental experience.

Ritual is the same within a certain spiritual type (See: Evola's Northern vs. Southern dichotomy), regardless of the specific culture or location the people practicing the rituals are from. It matters little if the people practicing the ritual realize it.

And you've created a false duality between individual and collective. The individual is the microcosm to the macrocosm of the collective. Neither can exist without the other, and to a certain extent they might as well be the same thing.
Using ritual to outwardly, visually, and dramatically explain esoteric principles functions about the same regardless of whether the object of focus is the individual or the community as a whole.



What exactly do you mean by junk science?

The sort that denies the common link between the civilizations of the East and West and the philosophies that guided them.

Hrodnand
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010, 02:14 PM
And you've created a false duality between individual and collective. The individual is the microcosm to the macrocosm of the collective. Neither can exist without the other, and to a certain extent they might as well be the same thing.

The duality still existed with the only difference that it was not individual vs the collective but individual and the collective. However, my point still stands that for early germanics the smallest unit was the family and not the individual, that spirituality was manifesting itself in the communal and not on an individual level and that any spiritual urge or goal with the purpose of serving the individual was seen dubiously by the community.



Using ritual to outwardly, visually, and dramatically explain esoteric principles

It depends by what exactly you mean on esoteric principles.





functions about the same regardless of whether the object of focus is the individual or the community as a whole.

If it functions for "the enlightenment" of the individual which results in abandoning the ritual (which thus becomes useless) that is otherwise a communal practice then it does make a difference. A community must act as a whole and any individual contemplation or spirituality which replaces the purpose of a communal manifestation is detrimental on a long term because then there is no need for a communal manifestation when the individual can experience the same by contemplating in solitude. Eventually you have the wrong aspect of duality between the individual and the communal.

Rev. Jupiter
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010, 08:52 PM
However, my point still stands that for early germanics the smallest unit was the family and not the individual

The family is a reflection of the individual.


that spirituality was manifesting itself in the communal and not on an individual level and that any spiritual urge or goal with the purpose of serving the individual was seen dubiously by the community.

There is a difference between the ego and the Self. When I say individual, I don't mean the accumulated life experiences of an ego form. I use Self to mean that element of the human that is nothing but pure observation and information-processing. In the Vedic religion it is called atman, and the Germanic answer to this is explained here (http://www.scribd.com/doc/19168336/Nordic-Soul-Lore-and-Teutonic-Psychology).


It depends by what exactly you mean on esoteric principles.

I use it in the true sense of the word, "Inwardly-focused or pertaining to the internal world"


If it functions for "the enlightenment" of the individual which results in abandoning the ritual (which thus becomes useless) that is otherwise a communal practice then it does make a difference. A community must act as a whole and any individual contemplation or spirituality which replaces the purpose of a communal manifestation is detrimental on a long term because then there is no need for a communal manifestation when the individual can experience the same by contemplating in solitude. Eventually you have the wrong aspect of duality between the individual and the communal.

You assume it is the ritual itself that binds the community.

My point is that the ritual gives an illustration of what should be going on inside the community on the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual level. It's not the ritual that binds the community, but the things the people learn participating in the ritual. And in a community that is truly healthy and in a folk that is truly enlightened, there's no need to illustrate such things with rituals. They would simply be assumed.

Hrodnand
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010, 11:33 PM
The family is a reflection of the individual.

In a purely symbolic sense yes, but in reality and practical sense the balance between the individual and the communal can easily be distorted for the sake of selfishness. This is why heathen germanic culture managed to preserve that balance so that the individual first served the communal from which it received the necessary nourishment to stand as an individual and not for the purpose of seeking personal spirituality devoid of communal sense.




When I say individual, I don't mean the accumulated life experiences of an ego form. I use Self to mean that element of the human that is nothing but pure observation and information-processing.

Information processing is useless in itself. After all it still ends up being selected by the ego. It's the ego which makes the greatest difference between a computer and a human being. An individual is the union of the self and the ego and just like the individual can not exist without the community the ego can not exist without the self nor vice versa in both cases.




In the Vedic religion it is called atman, and the Germanic answer to this is explained here (http://www.scribd.com/doc/19168336/Nordic-Soul-Lore-and-Teutonic-Psychology).

No, that's a Vedic view upon the germanic individual which constructs Vedic layers around the core so that in the end you have an article like the one you posted above. What the point is that we should not use alien lenses or ideologies to review our own heritage, we should rather understand objectively how our ancestors looked at the world without the application of foreign philosophy.




I use it in the true sense of the word, "Inwardly-focused or pertaining to the internal world"

I understand what the term esoteric means, you still didn't explain the principles you mentioned.




My point is that the ritual gives an illustration of what should be going on inside the community on the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual level.


No, it illustrates what IS going on inside the community, it's a direct expression of the actual culture and worldview.




It's not the ritual that binds the community, but the things the people learn participating in the ritual.

That still doesn't change the fact that there is a necessity for a common ritual because there are things people can only learn by participating in communal manifestations.




And in a community that is truly healthy and in a folk that is truly enlightened, there's no need to illustrate such things with rituals. They would simply be assumed.

I find it hard to fantasize about such phenomena where in fact our folk is more scattered than ever and the need for gathering is the strongest now. However, following your logic we can assume that the enlightenment you talk of will eventually lead to the unnecessary existence of the folk, therefore a communal manifestation in any way will be unnecessary if people will by themselves "assume" that there is a union. But that's not the true nature of man and assuming in itself will never be enough, there is a constant need for the individuals to experience the communal. Just like you can't assume the pleasure of erotic love without constantly experiencing it.

Rev. Jupiter
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010, 09:19 AM
You certainly make good points brother, but I'm afraid that due to our personal biases either of us will ever come to any sort of agreement.

To get back to the topic of the thread...

Do I practice my belief? Well, it depends on what it means to "practice" a belief. My religious ideas aren't a hobby, they're an integral element of my personality.
Being the sort of person I am, I have little use for community ceremonies or melodramatic displays. To me, communion (and union) with God(s) is a matter of personal contemplation and dialogue with likeminded individuals. So, in a way, I'd say there's never a point in time when I'm not practicing my belief.

Saxe
Wednesday, November 17th, 2010, 06:58 AM
"Yes, I do, and I attend all important celebrations and pray to the Gods"


Every breath, sleeping or waking is practice, as Odin gave us our breath, don't forget.

It's a very hard question to answer, however, as I've had people ask me, "So what do you do? How do you be heathen?" And I find myself at a loss for words, because the only real answer is that you live it. "We are our deeds," in the words of Swain and Eric Wodening.

Gullveig
Wednesday, November 17th, 2010, 08:19 AM
I believe your ancestors call to you. Mine call to me so strongly. I feel such a strong tie to the norse and all of gods. It is so interesting... all of my favorite odd food combinations I have prefered in the US... I am coming to find are natural meals in the lands of my ancestors....so many things that have set me apart....after I started studying, I realized are very natural in many northern european cultures. I think some of us don't have a choice, it just comes natural. We are just SO drawn to the old ways..... I didn't choose the Norse Deities... they chose me.

dainramis
Monday, June 6th, 2011, 07:20 PM
I am still fairly new to heathendom with very little interpersonal experiences, but very strong personal experiences. I am not a strong believer in organized religious practice but I do believe that what you do every day in your personal life are what truely matter. The choices you make, with the thoughts and reasonings that lead to those choices, are what matter in a spiritual sense.

Wotansthrone
Friday, June 17th, 2011, 08:10 AM
I answered yes and I practice it daily. Every morning I wake I recite an invocation and thank that days deity then I consult the runes and meditate upon them and what they tell me for the day. My wife and I are solitary practitioners and consider ourselves Wotanists. We conduct our own rituals for Yule, midsummer, charming of the plow, etc.. Then of course we live our lives according to the NNV's and 88 precepts.

Anleifr
Tuesday, September 27th, 2011, 12:00 AM
I would place myself squarely in the category of practicing heathen.

Yes, I certainly believe in the reality and power of the Aesir, the Vanir, the Disir, the land-spirits, and the ancestors. They show me favor, and I return the the gift of faith.

Every season that my crops do well, my bees produce honey, my trees wax healthy, and my obligations are met, I thank the gods for their favor in assisting me. Every time I go off to a field project in my capacity as an archaeologist, I invoke Odhinn for luck and victory, and Freyja for insight. I have a healthy relationship with the Disir and that is an enrichment to my life.

Always I try to share the knowledge I gain, for the betterment of my folk as a whole.

Yep, I'd say I was a heathen.

Vintersorg
Saturday, October 29th, 2011, 04:11 AM
I find the two options for those who consider themselves heathen to be a little loaded. Specifically "I am heathen, but am not serious...", this implies that the legitimacy of one's spirituality is directly related to their propensity for ritual, celebration, etc. which, in my mind, are simply external manifestations of something much more important.

While this is most certainly not the case with all heathens, a close friend (who has been worshiping the old gods for longer than I have been alive) and I were discussing this and both agreed that many people use the old ways as a means of playing dress up and living out a fantasy. These people tend to fall along the young and stupid as well as the faddists out there. For legitimate heathens, perhaps this is a too harsh of a statement, as some people simply need external events for things to seem "real" to them or for ideas, thoughts, or words to have any real impact. Robes, mead horns, altars, etc. are all well and good, but how many are actually creating metaphysical relationships with the gods and their ancestors?

I am dead serious about my personal spiritual beliefs, however, ritual and the like do little to nothing to reveal the lore or make the gods seem any more real. The closest outwards manifestation of the old ways I ever display is a quaint Mjolnir around my neck. I come from a long line of Protestant Christians, and this may be the Protestant psyche showing up in a pagan context, which makes for some interesting thinking. When you stop and think, the debate that seems to be raging here is the same one between the Catholic/Orthodox churches and the Protestant ones, sola scriptura vs. the living church.

I tend to find myself enjoying more scholarly pursuits, dissecting the Eddas and Sagas, looking into history and linguistics, thinking about the philosophical implications of certain ideas or beliefs. This is different from the kind of scholasticism though exhibited by the Christian, J.R.R. Tolkien in his love of myth. Mine is rooted in the very real sense of belief, this is the way I best understand and learn about the gods. The gods are as real to me as my son sleeping next to me right now.

On the more mystical side of things, I have experiences where I have offered sacrifices to the gods, where I have communicated with them, where I have felt them, but these have, for the vast majority, been inward and solitary. I have found though that since the start of my family I have wanted to find ways to better involve my son in our religion and ritual is a very good way to impart some deep seated psychological imagery into a child. It appeals very well to their nature and thought process.

So then, the question becomes, what exactly does it mean to be a heathen or pagan, at least in regards to myself? I live my life by the examples set forth by my ancestors and use myself as a living example of the Germanic spirit to serve as an inspiration to my family. I take a deep seated interest in our heritage and the collective world view, the weltanschauung, of our people and try to gain a deeper, more primitive understanding of the Germanic thought process. I look inward and, with the help of the gods, try to become a better man and one more in line with those written about in the lore. To me, this is more important than whether or not I attend every blót or sumble in my area.

Grimsteinr
Saturday, November 12th, 2011, 03:54 PM
With work schedules travel time & such, it was just impossible to assemble the Kindred for our regular Blot to Honor the Einherrjar, that we celebrate on or around 11-11, Nov.11th) each year. Here in the USA it is celebrated as Veterans Day and marks the Armistice Day, 11th Day of the 11th Month of the 1st World War. It's one of our regular monthly Blots.

At our Blot we first honor the Battle Gods of War and Defense, Odin, Thor, Tyr, Freyr and Freyja. Then we lift the Mead Horn to Honor all those that have fallen in Battle, in the uniform of our Country, and our Folk, and who joined the Einherrjar in Valhalla or Folkvangr. Here at our Blot we also lift the Mead Horn to honor those still serving in the Armed Forces of Our Country, and those who have died or are still serving in the Uniform of Metropolitan Policemen, State Police Troopers and Deputy Sheriffs, as they also serve the public to protect us, each day.

Since the Kindred could not be here, it was my Dear Wife Sharon and myself that made the walk about 65 yards up the Hill, overlooking the pond, to our stone Altar. We lit the torches and Called the Gods to Hallow the Stead.
And the two of us did the Blot, to Remember, as we think our Ancestors might have. After the Blot, we Thanked Them for Their presence, Closed the Blot and made our way, back to the house.

ETA...We do not use our Blots, to "play dress up" or "pretend that we are the Ancestors" we never dress in costumes. No swords, or Garb. We use our rituals, Blots & Sumbels to Reach out to the Gods and Gooddesses, to Honor Them and Strengthen the Conection between Them and ourselves. And it strengthens the Germanic Spirit within us. Oh, We do put on clean clothes, though.

Gruno
Saturday, November 12th, 2011, 04:13 PM
In all honesty, I do not practice heathendom nor am I very much interested in it. I have tremendous respect for those who still follow the ways and beliefs my own ancestors once shared with theirs, but I am perfectly to respect and accept something without instantly feeling an urge to join in.

Among my ancestors I have both heathens aswell as Christians and also
the occasional atheist, as do most people. I am sure those of my ancestors that used to follow the ancient Germanic God's have been forcibly converted to Christianity at some point.

I don't respect my heathen ancestors any more or any less then I respect my Christian ancestors. And I don't feel the need to become a heathen just to feel whole, or to fit in, the way American negroes celebrate "Kwanzaa". I do not need heathenry or heathen customs to define my identity, nor do I need the Christian faith for that. For me, faith is a very personal matter. I've made my peace with God, and I am content. :)

Thorwald
Saturday, November 12th, 2011, 05:40 PM
I honor the gods of my understanding and my ancestors within the confines of my home (and sometimes outside).

I read the primary literature and the leading scholarship to gain a better understanding of my ancestors and how they related to their gods.

I dabble in runes, galdor and wortcunning, and hope to become more proficient.

I am loyal to my relatives, or at least the ones that mean anything. I intend to find a woman of Celtic or Germanic stock with whom to raise a family in Heathen ways.

Rodskarl Dubhgall
Friday, December 9th, 2011, 11:19 AM
You probably read a lot about heathendom, about the religion of our ancestors. You know the Edda and all Gods. Maybe you've already attended a Blot or a midsummer celebration.

But do you really believe in the religion of the Norse?
Do you really practise it?
Are you still a member of the christian church?
Just intrested in what's Heathendom all about?

Please drop a few lines about your personal connection to the Norse Gods."Yes, I do, but I don't take it so serious, I don't attend any celebrations and stuff."

I used to practice, whether Heathen or Christian. Now, I simply hold onto beliefs inactively. I guess you can say mine is a personal mystical experience in a wider community with which I do not personally associate. I consider myself to straddle the line of Heathen and Christian, much like my ancestors did. I'd rather have the best of both worlds, as Winston Churchill stated was the case for Ivar the Boneless.

Dohtig
Wednesday, January 18th, 2012, 02:25 AM
I am an Atheist. So I have a hard time believing in any Gods, but I am very interested in Heathery. I have already convinced a friend to help me preform a Blot. My main interest is to feel and experience what our Ancestors felt and experienced. To try to live an honorable life and remain fiercely proud of Kith and Kin. To me this is enough.

I would like to believe in the Gods but my Rational mind won't allow it. I think the Gods are good metaphors to help our people through rough times and bad. I would also like to build an Alter, and preform more ceremonies. To help remind me of who I am and where I came from, and to put me in a more Germanic state of mind.

UlfkiV
Saturday, March 3rd, 2012, 01:31 AM
"But do you really believe in the religion of the Norse?"
Yes! Not as an absolute truth but as an absolute way of life. While I do not necessarily believe in Thor as a corporal being with red hair and a hammer I think that belief is an important thing. To play them down as simply "archetypes" of nature is to do them a disservice. But I do try and look at them in all ways, to see it from many angles, that bit of agnosticism I shall always have:-) What I have found most useful is studying how our ancestors treated the religion. Believing in the Gods/Nature as deity helps to show us our correct place in the scheme of things. To see religion as an invention of man for the use of man is to put man above it all when we are really just a small piece of the fantastic puzzle. We fight to come out on top but this is the place of the greater beings not us. Am I making sense?:-)
"Do you really practice it?"
I practice it with every breath, with every time I look at a plant closely, with every time I feel the texture of a rock, with every time I look out on the ocean. I do not do Blottar as often as I should and I rarely celebrate the "festivals" (strangely a special Ostara Blot is the only one that always happens). Part of this is my own laziness and partly because I do not have access to a grove or even a private patch of land. When I have a community (it will happen some day) I will celebrate much more of the festivals as I see them more as a community oriented thing. I know people I could celebrate these with but I would have to put up with more disgusting liberal neo-pagans that I really care to;-) I rune galder most every night before sleeping, I touch a kiss to our Freyr statue that guards the door every time I come in, I wear my hammer everywhere except the shower, so I suppose that when I add it all up I do more than I think:-)
"Are you still a member of the christian church?"
Never was!
Wassail!

I find myself lost often when I try to explain my exact beliefs to others, but you've just cleared up a lot of them in your second paragraph. Thank you! I too practice daily, wear my Mjollnir pendant every single day, (Also except for the shower. :P) and also do not Blottar as much as I should, or attend the festivals. This isn't due to laziness for me, but for lack of community. I long for a group who share my beliefs to commune with and practice with, and I suppose that's what lead me to this forum. (This is my first post, go easy on me! )

Grimsteinr
Thursday, March 15th, 2012, 01:50 PM
There is an Organiztion called the Irminsul Aettir, that has a Contact Page on their Web site, listing Heathen Folk and Groups from all over The USA and the World.
I checked and they have many listings in Illinois as well as Michigan.
Their adress is: www.irminsul.org If I recall correctly. If it's not do a web search for them.
For those of you who seriously want to be part of a Heathen Community, to share Blots, Information and fellowship with, "Why not take the time to look up Folks like these?";) We are everywhere.
If you do a web search for "Folkish Asatru" you will get hundreds of references. You might even contact the "Asatru Folk Assembly", or the "Asatru Alliance" for contacts. Look up their web sites. They are easy to find. I guess what I'm saying is: "If you really want to Share our Ancestral Folk Religion, Asatru with a Community, it's not always "Easy". But, first you have to try. There's a lot of us out here. But, they won't come knocking on you door.
Good Luck:)

Sal Saxon
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012, 09:10 PM
Well, I dont practice my belief in a normal way because I am still undecided if I have any belief yet. I describe myself as agnostic, because its easier. But I am currently immersed in my studies of germanic Heathenry, and I feel a pull toward certain aspects of the mythology. To me, this counts as my way of practicing. Its a good idea to know what you are getting with a belief system, so studying is a must, definatly more than just praying or telling everybody about it. for me these things are kinda private.

Rodskarl Dubhgall
Saturday, May 26th, 2018, 04:07 AM
I wanted to partake in Asatru and still have longings, but only for the real experience and not the reimagined version. I spent most of my time as a solo practitioner and felt cut off from my peers, only a few of which had any interest and it was usually Wicca. I wish there was a TV show like Hercules and Xena, but with Norse personalities. That makes it more of a 3D experience.