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Aeternitas
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, 12:10 AM
For the first time since the Vikings sailed, the Icelandic public are worshiping classical Norse gods like Odin, Thor, and Frigg at a public temple built in their honor. "The worship of Odin, Thor, Freya and the other gods of the old Norse pantheon became an officially recognized religion exactly 973 years after Iceland’s official conversion to Christianity."

An Icelandic association called Asatruarfelagid, which promotes faith in the Norse gods and is headed by high-priest Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson, raised sufficient funds and received permission from the government to construct the first such temple in 1,000 years....

Iceland's Norse temple will host official ceremonies like weddings and funerals and be dug 13 feet down into a hill that overlooks Iceland's capital, Reykjavik.
More (http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/iceland-to-officially-worship-norse-gods-again)

Shadow
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, 02:24 AM
Iceland is my favorite country.

Intrepid -vonTrep
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, 02:38 AM
Iceland is my favorite country.

Vital info.

Ocko
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, 02:38 AM
I don't worship the norse/germanic Gods. I communicate with them and I see them in what happens around me.

I see them in many acts.

If they wanted to be worshipped they are at the wrong address with me. Respect is what I give them and friendship and welcome.

renownedwolf
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, 10:52 AM
Unfortunately it seems this is all being done in a very Americanised PC, racially inclusive and LGBT 'Asatru' way.

SpearBrave
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, 11:52 AM
Unfortunately it seems this is all being done in a very Americanised PC, racially inclusive and LGBT 'Asatru' way.

With the exception of a few, most people in America that follow Asatru are folkish and are not racially inclusive or LGBT in any way. Most keep to themselves and view the gods as their ancestors. While personally I don't follow what the larger organizations are doing lately, they are folkish though.

I really can't form an opinion on this yet as it is really not off the ground, however at least people are starting to pay attention to the old gods.:thumbup

Bernhard
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, 05:06 PM
If they wanted to be worshipped they are at the wrong address with me. Respect is what I give them and friendship and welcome.

How very post-modern of you!:)


With the exception of a few, most people in America that follow Asatru are folkish and are not racially inclusive or LGBT in any way. Most keep to themselves and view the gods as their ancestors. While personally I don't follow what the larger organizations are doing lately, they are folkish though.

I do have the impression that in the US paganism is much more a racialist movement than in Europe and that it isn't really a problem to be a folkish pagan there. In Europe on the other hand, pagan groups are much more careful, mostly emphasizing that they are not folkish at all (which they mostly aren't anyway).

As to the situation in Iceland; I can't take them seriously unfortunately when even the Allsherjargodi says that the Gods are metaphors and when they mary gay couples just as well. I think the German Allsherjargode Von Neményi (Germanische Glaubensgemeinschaft) criticized them for their gay marriage as well.

Ocko
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, 06:02 PM
How very post-modern of you!:)



I feel myself part of the whole which includes the Gods. I am not separate from God, like Christians. My world is full to the brim with spirits and not dark, empty and cold like for materialists.

To live by the Rita is being heathen. To life by Jew-invented PC is not being heathen, as that is not part of the Rita, in contrast, PC was invented to destroy the Rita. (Christianity too)

It seems that 'heathen' is a pretty undefinable term. there is no 'heathen' and in this sense there never was a 'heathen'. People in the past had their own relationships to the Gods and some also believed they are just hoaxes.

From my point of view it is to enter spiritual reality and find the beings which are positive about myself, my family and my people.

We live in a different time, with technology developed beyond what was thought possible 100 years ago. We cannot have the old heathenism which was closely related to agriculture, war, justice, art and so on.

We have to redefine heathenism so it is suitable to modern time. but a developement is something different than a deterioration process. PC believes they are the avantgarde of morality and ethics and don't realize that it is based on the concoction of non-aryan people (aka Jews). That is not the way to go.

How to connect ancient heathenism to modern life is an open question to me. The way our ancestors found and made a culture out of it, which is not suitable to todays circumstances.

To reconnect to the Gods is an imperative and one has to start there. I do not think that the core-values, honor, honesty, courage etc are in the question, but how to 'worship' (or better have a formal way to connect to the Gods and give thanks and ask for favors) is open to me. I feel the old rituals are not working for me and I do not have new ones.

Hersir
Sunday, April 24th, 2016, 09:38 AM
According to an Icelandic friend, they never really stopped.

Sigebrond
Monday, April 25th, 2016, 09:55 PM
They might as well be worshipping the flying spaghetti monster because it will have nothing to do with paganism. It's not just about modern neopaganism being cringeworthy new age hippie territory, it's about paganism being completely incompatible with modern, left-wing ideals. Ancestral worship is a central component of any pagan practice, without that, i.e. "racism" and tribalism, it is worthless. The natural process of marriage and childbirth and the immortality gained in producing a shared genetic legacy is another central component, so gay marriage has no place in it either. I don't care if gays want to get married really, but don't pretend it's paganism.

Shadow
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016, 02:08 AM
In America there are those who and made the Norse gods equal opportunity and opened up their worship to all ethnicities and races. Then there are those who have not.

One such group in the America South was heavily influenced by a Baltic former SS soldier who immigrated after the war. This soldier learned esoteric Nazi lore and paganism while lounging around in a post-war American concentration camp for SS men. He taught this in the South along with a method of self-defense and some yoga-like postures for heath purposes. But at his core he was a soldier and actually enlisted in the US military, just making the age cut for the Vietnam War and participating in a rather famous radio conversation within the military involving an enemy tank. He finally returned home after the fall of the Soviet Union.

hornedhelm
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016, 02:54 PM
I wouldn't say that Asatru is particularly new age, at least not in the same manner as say Wicca. Wicca is purely manufactured, created in the 60s borrowing terms from old celtic and germanic religious elements but by in large completely manufactured. It seems alot more tolerant and accepting of feminists and gays. Asatru is more of a reconstruction based on historical source material, ie the eddas, sagas, roman accounts etc. But like everything else, it is all open to interpretation. I'm a practicing Asuatruar though I don't literally believe in any gods or religions as truth. Parts of them may contain truth, but none of them are all true. I do it as a connection with ancestors and to continue our native culture.

Also, in my experience, American Asatruars are typically the most conservative of the conservative, often far right libertarians and such. The only the "liberal" about many of them is that they practice a niche religion. Of the few kindreds I've been involved with, I've seen one transgender person and maybe one or two non pure white people. Love them all dearly, they are great people and dedicated to the faith. But this is not the norm and tolerance isn't necessarily universally extended to them amongst other groups.

I'm fine with heathens of other races or backgrounds. As we say, the gods choose who they will. But I can't understand why someone of a different race would want to practice Asatru as its not their heritage.

Plantagenet
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016, 03:08 PM
I'm a practicing Asuatruar though I don't literally believe in any gods or religions as truth. Parts of them may contain truth, but none of them are all true. I do it as a connection with ancestors and to continue our native culture.

Since Germanic paganism was a religious tradition (it had priests, rites, a pantheon of gods, spirits, a cosmology, eschatology, spiritual practices, ethics, laws, was entwined in notions of sacred kingship, etc.) what is the point of practicing if you don't truly believe in it? If it is to connect with one's ancestors and native culture as you say, how can you connect to it when you don't believe in it as your ancestors actually did? In other words, in the eyes of your ancestors who truly believed in it, what would they think of you trying to establish a connection to them via not actually believing?

Furthermore how do you connect to your Christian ancestors, or namely all your ancestors for at least the past millennium or more? Do you consider your Christian heritage to be part of your native culture?

Englisc
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016, 03:34 PM
In the United Kingdom, I've only seen the old English gods worshipped by nationalists on forums. I dont think it's broken out into anything like the mainstream.

On the other hand, Druids seem to me to be associated with the left-wing New Age movement. I see such types often in my local leftist colony Hebden Bridge.

renownedwolf
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016, 03:53 PM
That is most certainly the case ^, I have noticed that 'comedy' pagans are those who essentially like some memes about battle on FB, a bit of folk metal and/or have watched 'Vikings' on TV or else the even more repulsive 'Celtic' Wiccan sort who smoke green, wear tye dye and have dreads going to shitty hippy music festivals..

I really don't think I've ever met an English heathen who isn't folkish. I suppose that because it's a niche within a niche based on actual ancestral links, rather than the 'herp derp we wuz vikings' stuff most of the retards are filtered out into that comic book Odin and Thor stuff.

Seriously though if you think that anything is to be taken absolutely literally then you will be in for a rough ride, just the same as if you don't believe there is any reality at all to the Gods.

Plantagenet
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016, 03:55 PM
On the other hand, Druids seem to me to be associated with the left-wing New Age movement. I see such types often in my local leftist colony Hebden Bridge.

I've noticed this trend as well, which is a bit odd when you consider that the Celts were a patriarchal, hierarchical, war-like people and the Druids were one of the main agitators for violent resistance to Roman incursions and that one of the few Druidic passages to come down to us is something like, "Honor the gods, do nothing ignoble (or evil, etc.), and practice manliness."

It's a shame too because I believe there are some neat insights to be had from specifically Celtic paganism. Two examples are some articles I read a while back that I would heartily recommend anyone interested in these topics, namely John Carey's "Time, Space, and the Otherworld" and Brent R. Doran's "Mathematical Sophistication of the Insular Celts: Spirals, Symmetries, and Knots as a Window onto Their World View."

hornedhelm
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016, 04:12 PM
Since Germanic paganism was a religious tradition (it had priests, rites, a pantheon of gods, spirits, a cosmology, eschatology, spiritual practices, ethics, laws, was entwined in notions of sacred kingship, etc.) what is the point of practicing if you don't truly believe in it? If it is to connect with one's ancestors and native culture as you say, how can you connect to it when you don't believe in it as your ancestors actually did? In other words, in the eyes of your ancestors who truly believed in it, what would they think of you trying to establish a connection to them via not actually believing?

Furthermore how do you connect to your Christian ancestors, or namely all your ancestors for at least the past millennium or more? Do you consider your Christian heritage to be part of your native culture?

Many people practice religions that they don't wholeheartedly believe in. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe its a sense of their culture or belonging. Maybe it provides a structure for them. I don't feel like that is uncommon at all and people have been the same way since the beginning of time. Some take things as literal truth. Others feel things are more figurative and allegorical. As I said, I feel a cultural connection with Asatru and am trying to help preserve native beliefs.

With that, I wouldn't claim to be agnostic. Agnostics acknowledge the possibility of other spiritual beings. I fully believe that there are god like figures, spiritual others etc out there. I just don't believe in any religion. Though many religions may have some truth to them, I feel most of them are riddled with dogma and derive from campfire tales that were then passed around as truth.

And I honor my christian ancestors as well. Most of my family is christian and devoutly so. I have done quite a bit of bible study in the past and church attendance growing up. I will still go to mass at times with catholic family, church on occasion with protestant branches, bow my head at prayer, just whatever the situation calls for. Its important to them so its important to me. I wouldn't turn my back on christian ancestors either and am proud of their contributions to my line and people. With age I just came to realize that there were irreconcilable differences in belief between me and the church or bible. Things I didn't feel were true, or if they were should not be so. So I'd say I left the faith but on good terms. Unlike many heathens I am not antichristian. There seems to be a strong anti christian sentiment among modern pagans that I've never quite understood. I guess they blame all christians for the loss of our indo european beliefs. But we can't blame modern christians for that. They weren't alive at the time of conversion. They weren't on top or on bottom, its not their baby so to speak.

That may not make much sense to you. Its a complicated matter and Im actually having trouble communicating this much. The more I think, the more my mind trails off down rabbit holes. But that's fine. Everyone has their own unique set of beliefs, shaped by their needs and experiences. Just question everything before you accept it and try to become a better person. What else can you ask in a person?

Primus
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016, 07:20 PM
I'm fine with heathens of other races or backgrounds. As we say, the gods choose who they will. But I can't understand why someone of a different race would want to practice Asatru as its not their heritage.

Lack of connection to one's own culture and history, a sad by-product of the post-modern age. A black follower of Asatru makes as much sense as a white person following Shintoism. The old religion of Northern Europe and its modern continuation like Shinto are folk religions, literally religions spring forth from a particular folk: Germanic and Japanese respectively. This is even true in my own creed with the so-called Folk Catholicism as the Wikipedia page says within the first paragraph:

'Folk Catholicism is any of various ethnic expressions of Catholicism as practiced in Catholic communities, typically in developing nations. Practices identified by outside observers as "folk Catholicism" vary from place to place and sometimes contradict the official teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.'

People find it hard to give up indigenous values even when faced with a monolithic ethos, hence the milk-toasting of traditional religions, be they polytheistic or monotheistic, into the universalist glop of the new age, i.e. all is one, all paths are paths to God, etc.

Quaestor
Monday, May 16th, 2016, 07:09 PM
Since Germanic paganism was a religious tradition (it had priests, rites, a pantheon of gods, spirits, a cosmology, eschatology, spiritual practices, ethics, laws, was entwined in notions of sacred kingship, etc.) what is the point of practicing if you don't truly believe in it?


Many people practice religions that they don't wholeheartedly believe in. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe its a sense of their culture or belonging. Maybe it provides a structure for them. I don't feel like that is uncommon at all and people have been the same way since the beginning of time. Some take things as literal truth. Others feel things are more figurative and allegorical. As I said, I feel a cultural connection with Asatru and am trying to help preserve native beliefs.

Interesting! I can somewhat relate to how Hornedhelm stands in this, although I do not practice anything at all, and do not call upon 'the gods' (or on anything metaphysical for that matter) in times of distress. (I do however sometimes engage in 'thinking sessions' that hold the middle of philosphy, metaphysics, and daydreaming, in which I explore / make up a metaphysical map of the universe, based on Germanic heathenry. It's not really meditation, but I presume it has a similar function.)

I do think of the gods, and of the heathen lore, like I do of the characters of a well-know story, like Lord of the Ring. Or maybe even, and you must believe me that I do not say this in mockery, a figure like Donald Duck. Gandalf and Donald Duck are both created by an author (J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl Barks) but they became larger than life, archetypes so to speak, that cannot be altered even by those who hold the copyrights to them (Tolkien heirs, the Disney concern). They exists in a similar way that language exists.

Language is a creation of humans, but none of us 'owns' it (while occasionally new words and epxressions are thought up, these are only considered succesful when they get adapted by those who use the language, i.e. become independent from their inventor).

In a similar way, the heathen gods (and other beings, realms etc.) exist. They are more a matter of relevance than of truth.

Monotheist religions are completely different, as they claim to know the truth. And not a subjective truth — the literal, objective truth. In christianity this claim to truth included the entire bible, which was to be taken literally*, and eventually, when people got better in exploration and logic (science) it became more and more obvious that the Bible was not a literal account of prehistory and history. This triggered the secularization, and departure from the christian faith among the European nations.

*(I'm not convinced that the orginal author(s) of Genesis even intended to be taken litterally. The story of creation might as well have been meant as a poetic account rather than a literal one.)

That, btw, is why I only find it relevant to identify as an atheist when confronted with the monotheistic (christian-judaic-islamic) god. In relation to Wodan, Donar etc. the question 'whether they are real' does not make sense; I don't think affirming or denying this makes any sense.

hornedhelm
Tuesday, May 17th, 2016, 01:41 PM
Great post, Quaestor.

I've always felt that polytheistic religions were developed out of necessity to explain natural phenomenon, both in nature and human personality. This is why most of the gods serve some function such as providing winds, rain, sunlight etc while also having very human personalities and flaws.

Monotheistic religions seem to have evolved from polytheistic roots, but I've always wondered why? Where did we get the idea of one all powerful being? Why the shift? I've heard it said that it was easier to consolidate power that way. Maybe the Victor in warring tribes would subjugate the losing tribe into worshipping their cult/ gods.

Thoughts?

Plantagenet
Tuesday, May 17th, 2016, 08:22 PM
The problem with these theories is that there is a living form of Indo-European paganism which springs from the same source as Germanic paganism, namely the Hindu tradition, and it is very "religious", metaphysical, and very concerned with truth indeed and behind the polytheistic surface lies a monistic depth.

Based on what we know about the Druids, the Indo-European pagan tradition closest to the Germanic one both in space and culture, is that they taught an immortal/indestructible spirit, transmigration, cycles of time, and were concerned with attaining wisdom, i.e. direct insight or access to what they called the "Otherworld", which was conceived as a timeless and eternal realm coexistent with the world we are familiar with.

It is also known that ancient Germanic pagans engaged in spiritual practices. To take two examples, there was utiseta, which was "sitting out" on a power place like a grave, which is quite similar to Indian yogis who meditate at charnel grounds. Another is galdr, a spell or incantation that was apparently repetitive in nature and hence similar to Indian practices like mantra.

As is apparent from the above, the ancient pagans also firmly believed in the existence of magic (the Runes being magic and Odin being a master of magic and runic wisdom, i.e. insight into spiritual realities) and also believed all of nature as being animated and alive with spiritual powers. They also all believed in postmortem life of some form or another, perhaps differing for nobles/heroes/sages and commoners but nonetheless a belief in life persisting beyond the grave.

In short, the ancient pagans were "religious", saw the sacred and magic all around them, believed in Absolute Truth/eternity, truly believed in the gods who were more than just personification of natural forces, engaged in spiritual practices, rituals, etc.

Quaestor
Wednesday, May 18th, 2016, 12:25 AM
In short, the ancient pagans were "religious", saw the sacred and magic all around them, believed in Absolute Truth/eternity, truly believed in the gods who were more than just personification of natural forces, engaged in spiritual practices, rituals, etc.

While I find your post interesting, I am not at all convinced that the heathens of old even had a concept of 'Absolute Truth'. I do not mean that they emphasized a subjectivity or even where aware of that; I just don't think they had institutions or methods to 'measure' an individuals' adherence to orthodoxy.

Not that it would matter to me btw. I don't feel compelled to repeat any of my ancestor's erroneous conceptions, even the ones that for the time and age, are impressive.

Quaestor
Wednesday, May 18th, 2016, 12:38 AM
Great post, Quaestor.

I've always felt that polytheistic religions were developed out of necessity to explain natural phenomenon, both in nature and human personality. This is why most of the gods serve some function such as providing winds, rain, sunlight etc while also having very human personalities and flaws.
I'm not convinced that it was this literally, and I do not think that people back in that time actually litterally believed that e.g. thunder was caused by Donar's/Thor's/Þórs chariot. They might have been personifications of natural phenomenons, rather then explanations; a subtle difference.


Monotheistic religions seem to have evolved from polytheistic roots, but I've always wondered why? Where did we get the idea of one all powerful being? Why the shift? I've heard it said that it was easier to consolidate power that way. Maybe the Victor in warring tribes would subjugate the losing tribe into worshipping their cult/ gods.

Thoughts?
I think this is some form of degeneration (not primarily in a moral sense, but in the extent that one is rooted in the physical environment). Initially the Hebrews in Israel worshipped one god, but they did recognize at least the nominal existence of Baäl etc.: the gods of rival tribes. They did not worship these, but recognized their existence (although it is up for interpretation whether they only acknowledged the existence of these deities' cults, or really thought these 'idol gods' did exist in a similar way as their 'YHWH adonai' existed. Also there seems to have been a period in ancient Israel, where YHWH had a companion goddess as his wife. So, when the Jews where more in resonance with their physical environment, the cult of YHWH seems to have been less fully monotheistic.

I'm contriving and speculating here now, of course. Also, Akhnaton's cult probably predated the Hebrew monotheism, but Akhnaton was also not very much in tune with his environment.

In the European middle ages, there was one god, but also one Satan, and a huge number of Angels and Demons, so how monotheistic where the people back then?

Nachtengel
Monday, August 15th, 2016, 06:29 PM
Interest in the Norse myths revived, as elsewhere, in the late 19th century, and again in the 1960s and 1970s, when the Edda manuscripts were returned to Iceland from Denmark.


On Thursday, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, who lives near Reykjavík, flew to the tiny fishing town of Höfn on Iceland’s coast to conduct a marriage ceremony.

He is not a churchman or a registrar; in fact, he is a pioneering film composer and musician who has collaborated with Sigur Rós and Björk among others. But thanks to his position as high priest of Iceland’s neo-pagan Ásatrúarfélagið or Asatru Association, he has an authority formally recognised by the Icelandic state to conduct marriages, name children and bury the dead.

The ceremony itself, Hilmarsson said shortly before departing, would be a simple one: after performing a hallowing ritual to sanctify the space, he would read from one of Iceland’s celebrated epic poems and then invoke three ancient Norse gods and, “as a countermeasure”, three goddesses including the fertility deity Freyja. The couple would then grasp a large copper ring and make vows to each other, and that would largely be that. “It’s a short ceremony; there’s no preaching because the idea is it’s the couple who are marrying themselves, and I just sanctify that.”

Hilmarsson has conducted more than 200 weddings during his time as high priest, but he and the Norse pantheon of Thor, Odin, Freyr and Frigg are likely to find themselves even busier in future. In the 12 years since he took over its leadership, membership of the Ásatrúarfélagið, which the Icelandic government recognises as a formal state religion, has increased sixfold. In March, after decades of planning, the group will start building what is almost certainly the first temple to the pagan Norse deities since Iceland was officially converted to Christianity in 1000AD.

Not that this is a religion like many others. He may be building a temple to Thor and his fellows, but Hilmarsson says he doesn’t pray to the Norse gods or worship them in any recognisable sense, nor does he believe in the literal truth of the texts – the treasure-trove of 13th century Icelandic “Eddas” recording the mythology of earlier times – on which the religion is based. He cheerfully admits that the rituals and blods or gatherings that the group practises are no more than creative reimaginings of how pre-Christian Norse people related to their deities.

“So yes, it’s partly a ‘romantiquarianism,’” he says of his faith. “But at the same time, we feel that this is a viable way of life and has a meaning and a context. It is a religion you can live and die in, basically.”

Happily for him and the group’s 3,000 members, the Icelandic government agrees, meaning that the organisation is entitled to a share of the religious taxes that each Icelandic citizen is obliged to pay. The result, after more than a decade of careful saving, will be the wooden-clad new temple or hof, built on a quiet section of Reykjavík’s shore with a wall of south-facing glass designed to capture the rising and setting sun on the shortest day of the year.

There, the group will gather for weekly study and for the five main feasts of the year when, under the leadership of a robe-clad Hilmarsson, they will gather around a central fire, recite the poems, make sacrificial drink offerings to the gods – unlike some pagan groups they do not practise animal sacrifice – and feast on sacred horsemeat. (Is it roasted on the fire? “Oh no,” laughs Hilmarsson. “We have caterers.”)

By the time the Icelandic Eddas were written down in the 13th century, an active belief in the pantheon of historic gods they describe was already archaic. For centuries, however, the Viking world from Iceland to the Black Sea had been shaped by belief in the central world-tree of Yggdrasil, the hammer-wielding god Thor, the one-eyed, raven-attended Odin and a host of elves, trolls and nature spirits. Rosa Thorsteinsdóttir, a folklorist at the University of Iceland’s Institute of Icelandic Studies who has been collecting and archiving the country’s oral legends, says it is impossible to know whether the pre-Christian stories survived in the oral folklore after the country’s conversion, but even after a millennium of Christianity, nature beliefs never quite died out. “People tell fairy stories of the hidden people; there are nature spirits that walk over the country and you should not disturb them. These stories are alive.”

Her own name, she notes, is derived from Thor’s stone – “there are many, many names in Iceland linked with Thor”.

Interest in the Norse myths revived, as elsewhere, in the late 19th century, and again in the spiritually conscious 1960s and early 1970s, when the Edda manuscripts were returned to Iceland from Denmark.

The reason for the recent flowering in neo-paganism among Iceland’s young is less easily explained, however. On a mild Wednesday evening in central Reykjavík, a group of a dozen or so members have gathered for the organisation’s weekly reading group, to pore over the elder Edda. Several of those present are in their 50s, but more than half are twentysomethings. The atmosphere is less that of a ritualised session or religious prayer meeting than a lively Chaucerian study group with beer and biscuits, in which members interrupt a lively debate to share their delight in a favourite image or metaphor.

Linus Orri, a thoughtful 25-year-old environmental activist, says he thinks the group’s appeal lies in the fact that “in a world that is quite artificial, here there seems to be an interest in the real, something authentic – whether that’s searching for some older wisdom or the truth about how society was, or whether it’s [our] commitment to nature, I can’t really say”.

“Also, the group is so incredibly inclusive. You get a really unpretentious group of people for some reason. Nobody would pretend to be having a conversation with Thor, for example.”

For Sólveig Anna Bóasdóttir, a professor of theology and ethics at the University of Iceland, the growth of paganism may be explained by the country’s complicated relationship with religion – in one sense, Iceland is a highly secular society, but she says 90% of 14-year-olds still undergo confirmation in the state Lutheran church, which remains rich and powerful thanks to the country’s religious taxation.

“In Iceland we don’t really have this situation with the evangelical churches on the rise. Rather, it would be these alternatives that are quite moderate, like the Ásatrúarfélagið, that hold the appeal. People respect them.”

The country’s financial crisis since 2008 has been another factor, says Sigurboði Grétarsson, a musician and active member in his 20s.

“We don’t have a separation of church and state. While our healthcare is in the drain, the church is getting millions and millions. People are getting fed up and wanting to go back to heathenism, to the roots.”

(The Guardian)
http://whiteresister.com/index.php/18-history/684-back-for-thor-how-iceland-is-reconnecting-with-its-pagan-past

Shadow
Monday, August 15th, 2016, 07:16 PM
As the Nazis understood, it is not the religion itself. It is the fact the religion is a product of that particular culture which is important. So in reinforcing this particular religion, the whole culture is being reinforced. With humans, culture and biology are closely connected as in no other creature. There is an actual feed back loop between the two. So reinforcing the religion of that culture reinforces the culture which reinforces the Icelandic people as biologic entity.

Wuotans Krieger
Monday, December 17th, 2018, 12:25 PM
https://icelandmag.is/article/asatru-old-norse-pagan-religion-fastest-growing-religion-iceland

The old Norse paganism is doing great in Iceland. According to figures from Statistics Iceland (http://px.hagstofa.is/pxis/pxweb/is/Samfelag/Samfelag__menning__5_trufelog/MAN10001.px) 3,583 people belonged to Ásatrúarfélagið, the pagan association, on January 1. The membership has grown by 244% since 2007, making paganism the fastest growing religion in Iceland over the past decade.Pagans making a comeback after a millennium
The figures show that the share of Pagans in Iceland now tops 1% of the population for the first time for nearly a millennium. In the year 1000 Christianity was adopted as the national religion of Iceland by the Viking age commonwealth parliament, Althingi at Þingvellir. While it was still permissible to observe the old religion in private, the old pagan ways quickly receded in the face of Christianity. Now, 1000 years later the old Norse paganism Ásatrú is making a comeback.