Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Anglo-Saxon Heathenry

  1. #1
    Funding Member
    äFriend of Germanicsö
    Funding Membership Inactive
    Blutw÷lfin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Last Online
    Friday, June 5th, 2020 @ 10:35 PM
    Status
    Available
    Ethnicity
    German
    Ancestry
    Skňne and North Frisia
    Country
    Iceland Iceland
    Gender
    Family
    In a steady relationship
    Posts
    4,115
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    18
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    151
    Thanked in
    99 Posts

    History of Anglo-Saxon Heathenry

    Anglo-Saxon Heathenry's ancestry rests in the tribal religions of the Germanic peoples on the North and Baltic Sea shores of Europe. The Germanic peoples came from peoples who settled in extreme Northern Europe, and spoke a language that was a fusion of an Indo-European tongue, and the language of the Northern Megalithic culture (a culture related perhaps to the builders of Stonehenge).

    These two cultures, the Indo-European, and Northern Megalithic met and fused in Northern Europe sometime around 1200 BCE.
    The tribes that resulted from this fusion remained in a core area that is modern Denmark, Southern Norway, Southern Sweden, and Northern Germany until about 500 BCE when they started expanding into areas formerly held by the Celts, Balts, and Illyrians.

    Rock carvings in the core area dating from 4000 BCE to 500 BCE portray many symbols later connected to the Germanic tribal religions. Ships, sun wheels, wains and other pictures all show some continuality of religious belief. Archaelogical finds dating from 1700 BCE to 500 BCE such as the Sun Chariot from Trundholm also confirm this.

    The first mention of a Germanic tribe is crica 230 BCE when the Basternae migrated to the Black Sea, and came to the attention of Greek chroniclers. From 230 BCE, the Germanic tribes would come in increasing conflict with the Celts, Illyrians, and Romans, eventually swallowing up most of the Celtic and Illyrian territories in Central Europe.

    This was the beginnings of the Migration Era which lasted from about 375 BCE to 550 CE
    (although the Viking expeditions should be counted as a part of this as well), an era when nearly every Germanic tribe was actively on the move. Over population and a need for new farm lands sent the Germanic tribes in search of new lands.

    The invasion of Great Britain by the Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Frisians, and other Germanic tribes were amongst the last of the Great Migration. In the fifth century, an exodus of tribes took place to Great Britain. The Angles invaded Britain from the area of Schleswig-Holstein, and are mentioned by Tacitus in his writing Germania. The Jutes appear to have come from Jutland and the area near the mouth of the river Rhine. The Saxons, by this time had covered a wide area, but invaded Britain from what is now primarily Northern Germany.

    The Saxons were not just one tribe, but a confederation of smaller ones, and are not even mentioned by the Roman chroniclers until the second century when Ptolemy placed them in the area of the Elbe River (an area once held by the Cimbri). What tribes composed the confederation is truly not known, though the Cimbri that remained in the North may have been among them as well as the Cherusci (other tribes that have been suggested as forming the confederation are the Avioni, Nuithoni, Reudigni, Suarini, and some of the Suebi).

    The Frisians came from what is now the Netherlands, and the Frisian coast of Germany. Other tribes such as the Varni, neighbors of the Angles, and the Geats of Sweden invaded Britain in smaller numbers.

    The religions of these tribes were related to the tribal religion of the Goths, and that of the Norse (whose myths are recorded in the two Eddas). Their Gods and Goddesses were Woden, Ing, Thunor, Frige, Eostre, Seaxnot and others whose names have been forever lost. Their common place of worship was in a grove (Old English hearg) or temple (Old English ealh). They held sacred feasts, and paid homage to their ancestors.

    Tacitus, writing in the first century, when the tribes were still on the continent of Europe, covered in some detail the worship of a goddess called Nerthus by the Angles and other tribes near them, and makes brief mention of other practices. Collectively we can refer to the religions of these tribes, once in what is now England, as Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, though in truth, there must have been some minor tribal variations in worship, customs, and beliefs.

    The remains of Anglo-Saxon Heathenry are few. Woden is mentioned in the "Nine Worts Galdor" of the Lacnunga, an Anglo-Saxon healer's manual surviving from the 8th century. Ůunor is recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle entry of 640 CE as killing the brother of the Christian Ermenred, king of Kent and his two sons.

    Ing is recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem, and there is the semi-heathen ritual the Ăcer-Bot recorded in the Lacnunga as well. Such small mentions in the AngloSaxon literature as these, place names, and archaeological evidence are all that remains of ancient Anglo-Saxon Heathenry.

    The Anglo-Saxon invasion began about 449 CE when Hengest and Horsa landed in what is now Kent. Hired as mercenaries by the Celtic leader Vortigan, they came to take land promised them in return for defending the Celts from the Picts. Thus began the invasion of Great Britain by the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes.

    The Jutes came first with Hengest and Horsa, then the Saxons followed, and finally the Angles. Other tribes such as the Frisians would also invade in smaller numbers. By 519 the Saxons had established Wessex, Kent was established not long after the arrival of Hengest and Horse by the Jutes.

    Other kingdoms would be established later. For almost 50 years, the Germanic tribes in what is now England went unmolested by Christianity. They kept to the religion of their ancestors, and practiced rites as they had for eons. Then in 593 CE, Pope Gregory dispatched Augustine as a missionary to the Germanic tribes in England. He arrived in 597 CE on the Isle of Thanet, and started preaching to the Heathens. By 601 CE he convinced Ethelbert to destroy the Heathen temples and idols and repress Heathen worship.

    Missionaries were sent to the West Saxons. Kings would convert their kingdoms to Christianity, then their successors covert the kingdoms back to Heathenry, and folks would lapse back to the old religion when the Church was not looking. But this was the beginning of the end for Anglo-Saxon Heathenry.

    By 633 CE, the last great stand of Anglo-Saxon Heathenry was to begin. King Penda, Heathen king of Mercia sought to conquer the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. Over the next 22 years Penda, the last great Heathen king in England killed the Christian kings Edwin, Oswald, Oswin, Ecgric, and Sigebert before he himself died at the battle of WinwŠd in 655 CE.

    In 685 CE, Cadwalla took the throne of Wessex to become the last Heathen king. In 686, the Isle of Wight, the last truly Heathen stronghold was converted to Christianity, and King Cadwalla of Wessex converted to Christianity in 688 CE, baptized by the Pope in Rome. Thus was the end of ancient Anglo-Saxon Heathenry in England amongst the kings

    While the kings and ealdormen of the Anglo-Saxons were converted to Christianity, it was not quite the same Christianity as was practiced in Rome. Christ was portrayed as a Germanic hero. Heathen charms were converted to Christian uses. Heathen rites were converted to Christianity. Symbel, ritualized drinking rounds continued to be practiced, with the toasts being Christianized. And the sacred feasts continued almost unchanged. Temples were converted to churches.

    "When Almighty God shall bring you to the most reverend Bishop Augustine, our brother, tell him what I have, after mature deliberation on the affairs of the English, determined upon, namely, that the temples of the idols in that nation ought not to be destroyed, but let the idols that are in them be destroyed; let holy water be made and sprinkled in the said temples - let altars be erected, and relics placed.

    For if those temples are well built, it is requisite that the be converted from the worship of devils to the service of the true God; that the nation, seeing that their temples are not destroyed, may remove error from their hearts and, knowing and adoring the true God, may the more familiarly resort to the places to which they have been accustomed.......

    And because they have been used to slaughter many oxen in the sacrifices to devils, some solemnity must be substituted for them on this account, as, for instance, that on the day of the dedication, or of the nativities of the holy martyrs whose relics are there deposited, they may build themselves huts of the boughs of trees about those churches which have been turned to that use from temples, and celebrate the solemnity with religious feasting, no more offering beasts to the devil, but killing cattle to the praise of God in their eating, and returning thanks to the Giver of all things for their sustenance; to the end that, whilst some outward gratifications are permitted them, they may the more easily consent to thee inward consolations of the grace of God." (translation of The Letter to Mellitus of 601 taken from J. H. Robinson, Readings in European History, Boston, 1905)


    For the common folk merely the names of the Gods changed. They continued to practice Heathenry in their homes, and throughout their lives. A long period of mixed faith continued long after the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons. Perhaps until as late as the time of Cromwell, Heathen tradition, although not worship survived in many areas. Plows which had been blessed in the fields in Heathen times were brought into the Churches to be blessed in the spring.

    Christian festivals were celebrated with Heathen customs such as Maypole dancing, and the dead honored in funeral feasts as they had prior to the conversion. Even the Heathen gods were still being invoked in charms for healing as late as the 10th century. As late as the reign of King Canute in the 11th century, laws had to be enacted against Heathen practices.


    Modern Anglo-Saxon Heathenry can trace its history back to 1976, when Garman Lord of the Winland Rice of Theodish Belief first struck upon the idea of reconstructing the ancient Anglo-Saxon pagan religion.
    Shortly thereafter he formed a group known as the Witan Theod. Its intention was to bring back the worship of Woden. The Witan Theod survived until 1983, when after a period of inactivity, it ceased to exist.

    In 1989, Garman and former members of the Witan Theod formed the Winland Rice of Theodish Belief. It is now the oldest surviving Anglo-Saxon pagan organization in existence. On June 21, 1996, the Angelseaxisce Ealdriht was formed by Swain Wodening, a member of the Winland Rice and Winifred Hodge a former member of the Rice. The Ealdriht's intention was to be a more democratic alternative to the Rice.

    On November 19, 2004 after operating for nearly eight and a half years, the Angelseaxisce Ealdriht was dissolved by its Witanagemˇt. It had become apparent that the Ealdriht's structure was unwieldy and that many of its concepts were outmoded. It was felt that regional groups centered more on specific tribal affiliations such as the Angles, Saxons, or Jutes would do more good. NÚoweanglia at that point decided to go on its own, while Middelfolc and Ărest MŠ■el decided to to form the Miercinga RÝce.

    Modern Anglo-Saxon Heathenry is not and cannot claim to be an authentic reconstruction of the ancient religion. The myths of its Gods it owes in a large part to the Norse Eddas and the Dane Saxo. Other beliefs have been reconstructed from comparison to the Icelandic sagas, and many of its traditions are drawn from later English folklore.

    Modern Anglo-Saxon Heathenry is therefore a synthesis of many Germanic traditions and beliefs that have been interpreted using the best scholarship in modern Germanic Heathenry. Despite this, it never can or will be the ancient religion. Still, what survived of the Anglo-Saxon Heathen beliefs is being followed by many in the Americas and Great Britain. And while it is not exactly as the ancient religion of the Jutes, Saxons, and Angles was, it captures the spirit and soul none the less.

    Source
    LÝk b÷rn leika best.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    HIM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Last Online
    Sunday, February 12th, 2006 @ 02:51 AM
    Location
    Kansas
    Age
    38
    Occupation
    Sleeping
    Posts
    502
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    4
    Thanked in
    4 Posts
    Wonderful post, Blutw÷lfin. I am very interested in the Old English language and Anglo-Saxon Heathenry so I really enjoyed this one. The following site is also an excellent source for more information on Anglo-Saxon Heathism. http://www.englishheathenism.homestead.com/
    Should the subduing talisman, the Cross, break, then will come roaring forth the wild madness of the old champions, that insane Berserker rage, of which the northern poets sing. That talisman is brittle, and the day will come when it will pitifully break. The old stone gods will rise from the long-forgotten ruin and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes; and Thor, leaping to life with his giant hammer, will crush the Gothic cathedrals!

    ---Heinrich Heine

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Last Online
    Monday, October 9th, 2006 @ 03:24 AM
    Subrace
    English
    Country
    United States United States
    Gender
    Family
    Single, not looking
    Politics
    Tribalist
    Religion
    Anglo-Saxon Heathen
    Posts
    71
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    5
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Anglo-Saxon Heathenry

    I have often wondered why there are so many Norse Heathens as contrasted with Anglo-Saxon Heathens. My guess is that most are of English origin, and yet they chose the Norse. My question therefore is why Anglo-Saxon paganism does not seem to be a viable alternative?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Moody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Last Online
    Saturday, April 9th, 2022 @ 01:50 AM
    Status
    Available
    Ethnicity
    English
    Ancestry
    Albion
    Subrace
    Paleo-Atlantid
    Country
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    State
    Essex Essex
    Location
    England
    Gender
    Family
    Single adult
    Occupation
    Investigator of Souls
    Politics
    Pan-Germanic Nationalist
    Religion
    Runosophy
    Posts
    1,905
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    3
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    22
    Thanked in
    22 Posts

    Re: Anglo-Saxon Heathenry

    Quote Originally Posted by Osmaegen View Post
    I have often wondered why there are so many Norse Heathens as contrasted with Anglo-Saxon Heathens. My guess is that most are of English origin, and yet they chose the Norse. My question therefore is why Anglo-Saxon paganism does not seem to be a viable alternative?
    It may be due to the earlier conversion [than the Norse] of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity, and that the real-life hero, King Alfred the Great, was a Christian also.
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Last Online
    Monday, October 9th, 2006 @ 03:24 AM
    Subrace
    English
    Country
    United States United States
    Gender
    Family
    Single, not looking
    Politics
    Tribalist
    Religion
    Anglo-Saxon Heathen
    Posts
    71
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    5
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Re: Anglo-Saxon Heathenry

    I have often wondered if it was because the Eddas are in Old Norse. But are there other reasons? I am not sure the earlier conversion would make a difference, or King Alfred (we have Penda as a hero, the great Heathen king, something the Norse do not). So are there other reasons????

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Š■eling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Last Online
    Wednesday, March 19th, 2008 @ 08:46 PM
    Age
    41
    Posts
    330
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    9
    Thanked in
    9 Posts

    Re: Anglo-Saxon Heathenry

    Probably more to do with ease than anything else. The Eddas provide a good source of northern beliefs, and the Icelandic Sagas give us much of the later Germanic world view.

    By contrast not much survives of Anglo-Saxon belief, and that is open to interpretation.

    I personally follow Anglo-Saxon belief as close to the original faith, or rather what I think would have been the original faith, as possible, but Heathenism, in general, should not be a static religion, it should grow with the Folk.

    The Hearth I am a member of use Norse names for the Gods, but it is not a problem for me, it is the essence of the deity that counts, not whichever label a kindred people (Celt or German) chooses to place on it.
    Wita sceal ge■yldig, ne sceal no to hatheort ne to hrŠdwyrde, ne to wac wiga ne to wanhydig, ne to forht ne to fŠgen, ne to feohgifre ne nŠfre gielpes to georn, Šr he geare cunne. Beorn sceal gebidan, ■onne he beot sprice­, o■■Št collenfer­ cunne gearwe hwider hre■ra gehygd hweorfan wille.

    http://www.odinic-rite.org/index2.html
    http://www.steadfasttrust.org.uk/

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Carl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Last Online
    Thursday, March 29th, 2012 @ 10:51 AM
    Ethnicity
    Anglo - Saxon.
    Ancestry
    English
    Subrace
    Nordid
    Country
    England England
    State
    Wessex Wessex
    Location
    south
    Gender
    Occupation
    [Psychologist]
    Politics
    Patriotic
    Religion
    Pagan
    Posts
    1,938
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    18
    Thanked in
    18 Posts

    Re: Anglo-Saxon Heathenry

    hello.
    I too have always assumed that the early conversion led the " AngloSaxons , Jutes etc" to loose their original creeds (- admittedly at varying rates). Saxon England became a jewel in the crown of the Papacy! The fact that Wodan (out of Wodenaz) is recorded in the Chronicles as the root source of the AS Kings was soon pushed out by the newly established and aggressive church. Such an sad irony therefore that when the NormanViks invaded, they did so under a Papal banner (- or so I am told).
    (! forward to the Reformation!)

    Snorri was , of course, a Xian and his relation of the old myths is a labour of great scholarship and creation. A pity the early Xian monks in AS England did not have the same tolerant attitude to the old Germanic faith - since this would have left us with a much better record of the early folkreligion. Alas! --- but, what little there is must be held in great value.
    The Elder Edda is another matter - pointing directly to a much darker age and to what evolved in the north out of the earlier beliefs ( from the south?).

    Carl

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Torquil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Last Online
    Sunday, April 1st, 2007 @ 03:12 AM
    Subrace
    Borreby/Alpine
    Country
    Vinland Vinland
    Location
    Midwest
    Gender
    Family
    Married, happily
    Occupation
    Freight
    Politics
    Libertarian Nationalist
    Religion
    Asatru
    Posts
    26
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    Re: History of Anglo-Saxon Heathenry

    Does anyone know if there exists any Anglo-Saxon groups or organizations who don't practice thralldom, sacral kingship, arungs, etc.? Sort of an A-S heathenry without emphasis on strict tribalism and hierarchy? Or can A-S heathenry even be practiced without those things.

  9. #9
    Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Last Online
    Saturday, March 31st, 2007 @ 12:13 AM
    Country
    United States United States
    Location
    Texas
    Gender
    Family
    Married
    Politics
    Tribalist
    Religion
    Theodish Anglo-Saxon Heathen
    Posts
    13
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    Re: History of Anglo-Saxon Heathenry

    Quote Originally Posted by Torquil View Post
    Does anyone know if there exists any Anglo-Saxon groups or organizations who don't practice thralldom, sacral kingship, arungs, etc.? Sort of an A-S heathenry without emphasis on strict tribalism and hierarchy? Or can A-S heathenry even be practiced without those things.

    Yes, it can be, and there is such a group The Covenant of Anglo-Saxon Heathenry :: Geleafawaer Fyrn Sida. Their website is at: http://www.fyrnsidu.org/larhus/. Though why anyone would want to practice non-Theodish Anglo-Saxon Heathenry beats me!

  10. #10
    Radical Traditionalist
    :hve­rungur:'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Last Online
    Friday, April 11th, 2008 @ 02:24 PM
    Country
    Vinland Vinland
    Gender
    Age
    36
    Family
    Single
    Politics
    V÷lkisch Green
    Religion
    Heathenry
    Posts
    606
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    6
    Thanked in
    6 Posts

    Re: History of Anglo-Saxon Heathenry

    Quote Originally Posted by Wodening
    Yes, it can be, and there is such a group The Covenant of Anglo-Saxon Heathenry :: Geleafawaer Fyrn Sida. Their website is at: http://www.fyrnsidu.org/larhus/. Though why anyone would want to practice non-Theodish Anglo-Saxon Heathenry beats me!
    Is this Eric or Swain Wodening? Either way, welcome to the board. I have respect for your family and what you've done for Heathenry even though we might not agree on some aspects.
    E-mail: odalist@gmail.com
    AOL IM: Blood Und Soil

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Anglo-Saxon Architecture
    By Sigurd Volsung in forum Folk Art & Culture
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Monday, April 23rd, 2018, 06:14 AM
  2. The Anglo-Saxon Invasions
    By Johannes de Leˇn in forum Germanic & Indo-Germanic Origins
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Monday, April 23rd, 2018, 05:31 AM
  3. Englatheod: Anglo-Saxon Heathenry
    By BeornWulfWer in forum Germanic Heathenry
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Friday, January 2nd, 2009, 04:39 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •