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Monotheism or Polytheism?

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  • Monotheism or Polytheism?

    An actively brought-up question when discussing Norse heathenry is the question of Monotheism and Polytheism. Is Norse paganism monotheistic, or is it polytheistic? The answer varies from person to person;

    Now, we firstly need to clear up that Odinism and Åsatru are very different faiths. Followers of Åsatru (or Ásatrú) hold emphasis on several gods, mainly the Æsir, the pantheon that includes Odin, Frigg, Thor, Baldr, and Týr. While Odinists, as you can tell by the name of the faith, largely hold emphasis only on one god, that being Odin. In my view, as an Odinist, the "gods" are all simply faces of Odin. Odin is the Absolute, God Eternal.

    There may be many people on this forum who disagree, and many who agree. I'd like to see other people's thoughts on my view of Odin.
    Baorn likes this.

  • #2
    The true original religion is monotheist, with as you say all the gods being facets of the One God.
    However the One is not Odin/Wuotan, it is rather called the Alfatyr (in English, Allfather).
    Odin/Wuotan is the equivalent of either Zeus or Hermes (Jupiter or Mercury).

    But according to Guido von List, monotheism is for the serious spiritual practitioners, while polytheism is more comfortable for the laymen.
    So, polytheism and monotheism did always coexist.
    Baorn likes this.

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    • #3
      Christianity is equally both monotheistic and polytheistic, but merely changes the characters of the mythology.

      It's not clear who is the real All or Sky Father, because, traditionally, this role is cognate with Tyr in fellow Indo-European religious folkways. While we Germanics use the name God as a form of Odin, other Indo-Europeans use the basal forms of the word for Deity, whether Jupiter aka Deus Pater or Zeus aka Theos. The question is why we choose Odin and God instead of Tyr, who is more widely worshiped, whether one counts his faith pagan or Christian.

      If Tyr and Odin are the two main names, then it would appear that Thor and Freyr are not so important. I appreciate how Odinism makes our Germanic culture stand out among fellow Indo-Europeans, regardless of Christ, but I'm not sure if I understand it.

      I don't understand how an All Father can himself have a father, because Odin has brothers and a father. I forget about Tyr, but know that other Indo-Europeans assign him a father in their own stories.
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