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Thread: Þéodisc Geléafa (Theodisc Geleafa or Theodish Belief)

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    Þéodisc Geléafa (Theodisc Geleafa or Theodish Belief)

    Þéodisc Geléafa (Theodisc Geleafa or Theodish Belief as some call it) means in Old English "tribal faith"; it is the "belief of the tribe." Two thousand years ago had someone asked a Germanic tribesman what their faith was, they would have explained their religion as the belief of the folk or tribe. Tribes at that time were social units linked by a common cultural identity, common history, as well as shared customs, traditions, and religion. Often Germanic tribes traced descent from a common ancestor, usually a hero or even a deity. Tribes gave their folk very much a sense of community and identity. Social bonds within the ancient tribes were usually one of blood (tracing back to the common ancestor) or via hold oath (an oath similar to blood brotherhood in that it bound two people together), and much stronger than those of general society today.

    The great sociologist Emile Durkheim, found that loss of social identity or cultural identity within a society generally lead to a decline in morale within the individuals of that society. Such a loss of morale could lead to depression and suicide, and therefore societies that over emphasize individualism, were prone to higher suicide rates than those that emphasized cultural identification while still maintaining individual rights. Societies with little to no regulation of individuals, and with no social structure according to Durkheim were also those that see a decline in morals, an increase in crime, as well as depression and suicide. Ideally, Durkheim thought that the only way to combat this was to reintegrate individuals into some form of social structure. In a similar vein, the great Chinese philosopher Confucius felt that social order came from respecting the custom and traditions of society, respecting humanity (or Jen), and proper behavior towards one's ancestors and the living (or the concept of Li). Thus Þéodisc Geléafa seeks to rebuild tribal societies in order to create a healthier society, one with social order and harmony.

    Þéodisc Geléafa therefore holds that the natural place for Germanic Heathenry and the worship of the Germanic Gods and Goddesses is in a tribal society. The ancient Germanic peoples from time immemorial worshipped the deities as a community; either as families, clans, or tribes. They were social creatures and while individuals had many of the rights they do today, these were often secondary to the concerns of one's tribe. While it would be difficult to form tribes now as they were in ancient times, Þéodisc Geléafa seeks to reform them in such a way that at least some of the benefits of tribalism will be felt. Modern Þéodisc Geléafa had its start in 1976 when Garman Lord began to explore the idea of resurrecting the old religion of the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, and doing so in a tribal tradition. For the longest time, the only Þéodisc groups were Anglo-Saxon Heathen (dedicated to one of the Anglo-Saxon tribes or the Anglo-Saxons as a whole). Now however, there are several Þéodisc groups dedicated to such various tribal traditions as the Angles, Jutes, Normans, Goths, and Norse. All Þéodisc groups generally believe in certain social concepts. Amongst these social concepts are: sacral kingship, the idea of a sacral ruler that collectively holds the luck of the tribe; a tribal assembly, a place where the folk can make law and discuss problems; a structured society, one which has distinct social classes in which one has to earn their position; that all have freedom of conscience, and finally, that folk can be bond together by oaths and blood into a tribe.


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    I'm almost finished reading Garman Lord's book "Way of the Heathen", its pretty insightful and he makes good observations on American culture, or lack thereof. I'm not sure if I'd ever practice Greater Theodism though, my views are more folkish oriented than tribal. I do like Anglo-Saxon heathenry in general though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Torquil
    I'm almost finished reading Garman Lord's book "Way of the Heathen", its pretty insightful and he makes good observations on American culture, or lack thereof. I'm not sure if I'd ever practice Greater Theodism though, my views are more folkish oriented than tribal. I do like Anglo-Saxon heathenry in general though.
    Torquil, I came to the same conclusions about it. The A-S folks have made great strides in understanding, but Greater Theodism just ain't for me.
    I love G.R.I.T.S.(Girls Raised In The South)

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    I was browsing the Miercinga Rice forum and found someone had made an Old English equivalent to Ásatrú: Ésatrúwere (believer or truster in the Ése) or Ésatrúwienda (believing in or adherent of the Ése).

    It was suggested that this term could be used in the same way Asatru is. Perhaps this name could be used as a label for non-Theodish ASH?

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