A very good resource for what I hold to be true and healthy understanding of åsatru and ancient european views on life is the website Vaidilute.com.
There is a tremendous amount of work and dedication put into this site. I will especially mention that the author, a young female american citizen with a clear understanding of her self and her Lithuanian roots, have made available a lot of older and newer not so commonly known litterature as e-books, much like Google for one, also is doing. Books are available online reading and for download.
I have taken the liberty of «reblogging» in full what she says about åsatru.Though written by a young female american citizen it is as I should have written it myself if only I was able too express myself as clearly as this «fire-priestess» does.
There are many names for the religion which here I call Ásatrú: Pagan, Heathen, Norse, Odinism, Wotanism, the Troth, even “the religion of the Vikings”… Some people insist on just some one of these terms and reject the others. In any case, the word Ásatrú means, roughly, “belief in” or “to honor” the ancient Gods and Goddesses of Northern Europe. However, it is best described as the modern rebirth of the real religion of the European people. Today Ásatrú is the re-awakening of the indigenous pre-Christian faith of the Northern Europeans.
The origins of the word are from the Old Norse language — the language of ancient Scandinavia, the last place where this religion existed in its purest form. Ásatrú is the name by which the Norsemen themselves called their religion. Ásatrú is essentially their cultural legacy. It is the tradition which these European people lived by.
It is a very ancient religion — far older than Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, or most other religions. In fact, Ásatrú is thousands of years old. Its beginnings are lost in prehistory. Strictly speaking, since Ásatrú is the religion which springs from the specific spiritual beliefs of the ancient Europeans, it is probably as old as this particular branch of humankind. The spirit it expresses is as ancient as the European people themselves — at least 40,000 years, and perhaps much older.
It began probably near the same time as Homo Sapiens on the European continent gained enough sentience to begin questioning their origin and developed speech patterns enough to discuss these ideas with others. It was one of the key factors in the development of Europe into a civilized culture, introducing concepts such as law, justice systems, and tribal culture interactions.
Long before Christianity took over Europe, there was an organized indigenous religion already there. Ásatrú is indeed the original, or “native,” religion of the peoples who occupied most of Europe. Geographically speaking, on the European continent Ásatrú was practiced from Scandinavia and Britain in the north, down through France and Germany in the south, and to as far east as Russia… When the tribes migrated so did the religion. As an organized religion, Ásatrú seems to be about 8,000 years old.
Before Christianity came to Europe, the religion, culture, and society of the European people all were based around their heathen beliefs. Heathenism was the dominant influence that shaped the people of the rugged lands of Northern Europe.
Ásatrú was then and is now a tribal, or folk religion. As such, it shares much with other indigenous tribal traditions, including those of the Native American Indians. Ásatrú actually has a lot in common with the American Indian religion. Both are tribal, both honor the ancestors, and both have much to teach us about our connection with the natural world around us. Both teach high personal principles… Ásatrú and the way of the Indians are both the indigenous religions of a specific people.
As ancient religion and culture flourished in the tribes of the European forests, the invading Christians first found it opportune to slaughter as many of these tribes as possible. Then the parasitic Christian priests seized control of the remaining people, and crushed the European heathen spirit, just as the great Aztec and Maya people were later crushed in the Americas.
When the Christian conquistadors invaded America, they thought that their faith was superior to the one of the Aztec and Maya civilizations. Gold religious artifacts were melted down to make money, scriptures were burned, native peoples were enslaved and forced to live according to the ways of the invaders.
This is the very same thing that has happened to our people when Europeans were invaded by Christianity: our ancestors’ religion was outlawed, our places of worship were destroyed, those who knew our old ways were murdered and those who wanted to learn from them were punished or also murdered.
People who resisted the new Christian religion were tortured and executed. Every form of resistance throughout the course of history was violently repressed — I can for instance name the witch hunts and the Inquisition when thousands of people were brutally murdered in a holocaust organized by the Christian church.
The Ásatrú religion was also subjected to a violent campaign of repression over a period of hundreds of years. Countless thousands of our people were murdered or maimed in the process. However, the common European folk did not give up their cherished beliefs quickly or easily. The truth is, you can never strip the beliefs from a people of honor, and Ásatrú was merely suppressed rather than annihilated. Therefore, today it is definitely not some “New Age” religion. Many followers of Ásatrú known today as Ásatrúers or Ásatrúars call themselves Heathens in memory and in honor of the ancestors that preferred to die rather then be converted to Christianity.
The center of this Christian “new way” was the religion of Jesus Christ, some Jewish rebel who was condemned to death by his own people for impersonating himself as being the son of Yahweh, god of the Judaic monotheistic religion. But actually there is virtually no accurate historical proof that a Jew by the name of Jesus actually lived some 2000 years ago, doing his thing with miracles and rising from the dead. Practically everything people “know” about Jesus comes from the Gospels — all of which were written decades after his alleged death and resurrection. Curiously, no literature is existent from that period that questions the gospels and its bizarre tales. And even if the gospels are correct, it is interesting to note that Christian theologians have always resisted attempts at presenting the Church teachings in a neutral light, fearing that in so doing, most people would reject such teachings.
My own particular interest lies in our Lithuanian branch of ancient pagan religion, called Romuva, which is uniquely Baltic.
The Balts are exceptional among other Indo-European groups because we have maintained our ancient language, folklore, pagan beliefs and customs in a remarkably pure state for very long. In fact, we were the very last European Pagans.
Lithuania was officially first Christianized in 1251 but soon renounced Christianity in 1263. After more than hundred years, in 1387, Lithuania was Christianized again. But for a long time the new religion retained only a superficial hold on the population, which remained “stubbornly pagan.” Church chronicles over the centuries reported staunch resistance to Christianity among Lithuanians. The last Pagan temple in the capital Vilnius was closed only at the end of the 18th century.
It was the monolithic organization of the Christian Church, bolstered by threats of economic isolation and aided by conversion of the ruling classes, that eventually triumphed over all the European people.
Or so it seemed… Despite all the persecution, elements of Ásatrú continued down to our times — often in the guise of folklore — proving that our own native religion appeals to our innermost beings in a fundamental way. Ásatrú never really quite died out.
Now, more than a thousand years after its supposed demise, it is alive and growing. Indeed, so long as there are men and women of European race, it cannot really die because it springs from the soul of our people. Ásatrú isn’t just what we believe, it’s what we are. Our indigenous faith underpins everything Ásatrúers do. Of necessity, this pitches them into opposition to the rootless, profiteering cosmopolitanism of the Judeo-Christians.
Now I want to tell a bit about this religion itself. Ásatrúers agree on certain basic tenets and beliefs, but after that they are free to interpret their religion in their own way and practice it, within certain parameters, accordingly. Unlike most religions, there is no “politically correct” way of thinking. Individuals within Ásatrú are free — physically, mentally and spiritually. This is why Ásatrú is unlike the better-known religions in many ways.
First of all, while most “modern” religions are monotheistic (one god), Ásatrú has a wide pantheon of Gods and Goddesses. It is a polytheistic religion. The Ásatrú pantheon of deities consists of many Gods and Goddesses, whom Ásatrúers view as sources of inspiration and knowledge.
Ásatrú means Faith in Æsir and also the Vanir, who are best known to most people as the Gods and Goddesses of the Old Norse legends, although these same deities were once worshipped by other peoples of pre-Christian Europe and also other Aryans, as far east as India (the Deities of the Rig Veda).
However, because the Old Norse legends provide the best knowledge of them, we usually refer to the Gods and Goddesses by their Old Norse names by which they were called in ancient times: Frigga and Odin, Tyr and Loki, Sif and Thor, Freya and Baldur, and so forth.
Followers of Ásatrú do not actually pray to their Gods and Goddesses the way most people mean by the word. Ásatrúers never surrender their will or humble themselves before Gods and Goddesses, because we see ourselves as their kin, not as their property. Nor do Ásatrúers beg and plead. They do not approach their Gods and Goddess’ on bended knee. Our deities need us as much as we need them. It is a union of honor…
Heathens do not worship, but follow the old Norse Gods. The term worship implies that one being is higher then another and that is not the relationship that the Ásatrúers have with their Gods. Many of the Nordic Gods have a flaw, if you will, (Tyr is missing one hand, Odin is missing one eye and so on.) they are neither omniscient nor perfect. The Gods are said to come to Midgard (earth) and ask for the help of humans on many occasions. Thus, Heathens look up to, work along side of and commune with their Gods.
Yes, our Gods are fallible. They make mistakes, and they can also die. But are they inferior? Not at all, our gods are not static deities, they learn and grow just as we do. This is the strength of a living religion.
Ásatrúers commune with the Gods and Goddesses, and honor them while seeking their blessing, through formal rites (Blots and Sumbles) as well as through informal meditation. Ásatrúers consider the Gods to be friends, albeit powerful ones, and so Ásatrúers gather on their holy days to commune with the Gods. Again, they do so as friends — they don’t bow down to the deities because Ásatrú is not a fear based religion. Ásatrúers stand strong in the face of their Gods.
Ásatrú also holds a belief in various other land spirits and a reverence of ancestors. There exists a realm wherein dwell the Gods and Goddesses of our ancestors. These are those whom Ásatrúers honor, and interact with today in ceremony, via personal gnosis and through living honorable and worthy lives. Ásatrúers believe that these Beings reflect aspects of Nature, both internal to ourselves and external in the widest sense of the word. Ásatrúers believe that the Gods care for us, as we do them and that they are interdependent with us — that we affect them, and they affect us. Ásatrúers believe in standards of behavior which are consistent with the spiritual truths expressed through the Gods, and which are harmonious with our deepest being.
Actually, living a full and virtuous life is like a form of prayer itself. The Ásatrú religion affects all aspects of people’s lives, not just some fragments that they choose to call “religious.” These principles that Ásatrúers live by differ from the monotheistic religions in many respects.
While individual Christians may honestly believe in freedom, yet their scriptures say that they all are slaves to their Almighty God. Judeo-Christian scriptures say all people are subject to the Will of their God — upon penalty of everlasting torture for refusal.
Christians may accept that joy is good, but their teachings burden them with guilt because of some imaginary “original sin” or other failings. They perhaps would like to understand the real world on a pragmatic basis, from verifiable evidence, yet they are told to suspend any critical thought and believe dogmas — black is white, round is flat, and natural instincts are evil — without question when the teachings of their church conflict with reason or with known facts about the nature of the world (“you must have faith”)…
Ásatrúers do not accept the idea of “original sin,” the notion that we are tainted from birth and intrinsically bad, as does Judeo-Christianity. Thus, people do not need “saving” and there is no need to ask forgiveness to be redeemed or else face an eternity burning in hell.
The whole concept of an eternal afterlife of suffering is alien to indigenous European religious thought. Why should one fear the afterlife? Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how we deal with them that is important. We don’t ask our deities to forgive us, instead, we should try to learn from our mistakes and live our lives as honorably as possible. If we live life fully (not to be confused with frivolously), continually strive for self improvement, and learn from all the obstacles we face in life, we will be prepared for whatever afterlife we earn.
There is no concept of a “savior” in Ásatrú. No one that you have to confess your “sins” to… Ásatrúers believe that you are responsible for your own actions, and there is no “the devil-made-me-do-it” type attitude.
The whole Christian concept of mankind is dominated by the concept of sin. Not the good and positive aspects of man are put in the foreground but his guilt (whatever this may be). In my opinion, this concept of sin is very much suited for the manipulation of people — as long as they are being told that they must repent of something they have not really done. The Christian concept of sin is truly, in all senses, an instrument of exploitation.
Guilt is indeed an immensely powerful weapon. If once you can make a person feel guilty, make feel that there is something wrong with her or him, you have gained a psychological ascendancy over that person. Guilt is a weapon often used on psychologically vulnerable people.
The Christian churches have produced not only the concept of a God of absolute goodness (whatever that might mean) but also his son, a “man-god,” someone like us, human beings, but also terribly unlike us in his perfection and this man-god is placed before believers as an example of what they must be… As counterparts to these rules, to fortify still further people’s sense of unworthiness, are such rituals as the confession and litany in the Catholic church, in which believers must grovel on their knees and murmur “Oh Lord have mercy upon us miserable sinners”… What better way could be devised to make a person vulnerable to control?
Religious Christian people are almost always people with a high component of guilt and anxiety for they can never, in the very nature of things, live up to the “perfection” that is demanded of them.But above all, Judeo-Christian religion in society today is used to keep people in a state of guilt, to mystify, to bamboozle, so that reality and myth, symbol and fact are all brought together in a veritable quagmire of mental and emotional contradictions, so that people are uncertain even about who they really are. Indeed, Christian religion today might be called the ideology of confusion.
What better weapon could those who want to control us have than to keep us in a world of fantasy? It is highly important for those who want to maintain the society as it is to prevent people from seeing and dealing with the realities of their conditions, for if they did so they would at once take steps to alter them.
It is not this world that matters, Christians are told; real life, the life of joy and happiness comes when we are dead — but only if we remain docile and obedient (“blessed are the meek”) in this life. “Blessed are the poor.” The poor are extremely fortunate to be poor — for they will inherit everything, the whole earth — after they are dead… What a load of nonsense!
Is it a wonder that so much effort, time and money goes into the religion business? The rhetoric of Judeo-Christian religion is also calculated to evoke deeply embedded responses — words such as “kindliness,” “goodwill,” “non-violence,” “love”… These words blunt the consciousness and obscure the need for action to secure change.
No, for Ásatrúers there is no such a things as “guilt before God.” Of course, there are good and bad deeds but they are not being judged by God but by the community of human beings. Acting against the community or social order would possibly be called bad or dishonorable. But even in this case it must be checked why that individual acted like this and what the motives were.
Good and evil are not constants. What is good in one case will not be good in another, and evil in one circumstance will not be evil under a different set of conditions. In any one instance, the right course of action will have been shaped by the influence of the past and the present. The result may or may not be “good” or “evil,” but it will still be the right action. In no case should good and evil be dictated to us by the edicts of some alien, authoritarian deity, such as in Judeo-Christianity. We should use our freedom, responsibility, and awareness of duty to serve the highest and best ends.
Some of the qualities Ásatrúers hold in highest regard are strength, courage, joy, honor, freedom, loyalty to kin, realism, vigor, and the revering of our ancestors. To express these things in our lives is virtuous, and so we should strive to do this. Their opposites — weakness, cowardice, adherence to dogma rather than to the realities of the world, and the like — constitute vices and are to be avoided. Proper behavior in Ásatrú consists of maximizing one’s virtues and minimizing one’s vices. This code of conduct reflects the highest and most heroic ideals of our people.
Ásatrú beliefs are rooted in the past and in the sacred cosmology of the European people. As an ethnic or folk religion the authoritative source of belief that can legitimately be considered Ásatrú are the precedents found in the traditions, myths, folklore, literature, laws, customs, and cultural concepts which were shaped by belief in the Æsir and other supernatural beings and powers. There is no historical founder or prophet who made revealed pronouncements of law or belief.
As I had mentioned above, Ásatrú is not a “savior-based” religion — it has no “christ” or “messiah” who reveals the so-called “sacred word” — instead Ásatrú grew out of the natural order of things over thousands of years.
Ásatrú does not have a codified dogma or written “sacred” scriptures in the usual accepted sense of the word. Ásatrúers do not have a holy book, like the Judeo-Christian Bible.
However, they do have a number of surviving written sources that provide clues to the values of the ancient cultures that honored our Gods and Goddesses. There are myths and sagas that have been handed down to us from our ancestors which are very important to us and contain much of the origins and basic tenets of Ásatrú. These are sources which are simply useful to Ásatrúers because they contain much of our sacred lore in the form of myths and examples of right conduct. The closest Ásatrú comes to such are the Eddas, the Prose and Poetic.
However, being aware that these ancient manuscripts have passed through many hands, Ásatrúers do not consider them to be infallible or inspired documents. Any religion which does this is deceiving itself about the purity and precision of the written word. The various competing factions of Middle Eastern religions are proof of this. Their conflicting interpretations can not all be correct.
There are two real sources of holy truth, and neither expresses itself to us in words. One is the universe around us, which is a manifestation of the underlying divine essence. The other is the universe inside us, passed down from our ancestors as instinct, emotion, and innate predispositions, and perhaps even racial memory. By combining these sources of internal and external wisdom with the literature left to us by our ancestors, we arrive at religious truths. This living spiritual guidance is better than any dusty, dogmatic “holy book,” whose writings are often so vague that even clerical scholars disagree on its meaning and whose interpretations change with the politics of the times.
Many of us (I mean Europeans) instinctively believe in the values of Ásatrú simply because they have been passed down to us from our ancestors. To find European virtues, one should look where those virtues have their natural home — Ásatrú.
The great Aryan philosopher Savitri Devi stated in her classical work The Lightning and the Sun, “The truth is that there is no other ‘God’ but the immanent, impersonal divinity of Nature-of-Life, the universal Self. No tribal god is ‘God.’ Tribal gods are more or less divine, to the extent they embody and express a more of less divine collective soul.”
In Ásatrú there is simply no central authority that lays down dogma or tenets. There is no injunction to proselytize, or any precedent for intolerance of other beliefs. Ásatrúers do not proselytize. They will not come, like some Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses, knocking at your door trying to “sell” Ásatrú.
Ásatrú does not claim to hold the universal truth or to be a universal religion, a faith for all of humankind. In fact, Ásatrúers don’t think such a thing is possible. The followers of Ásatrú don’t believe that there is such thing as “One True Religion for Everybody.” They are convinced that ethnic ancestral religions that were built by and for various ethnic peoples, are the most suitable ones — these are manifestations of the inner self of every person, and an expression of their collective subconscious. The various branches of humanity have different ways of looking at the world, each of which is valid for them, and thus naturally should have different religions, which of course they do, or at least did…
Ásatrúers believe that each religion reflects the culture of the region in which it was created, that the beliefs of a culture represent the values and ethics of its people (the German term “volkisch” represents this vision). Each culture is unique and so each religion is or should be unique to its people and therefore not transposable from one group to another. Because of this, people of Northern European origins should practice Ásatrú those of Celtic origin should practice Celtic heathenism and so on. Our ancestors were polytheists and therefore Judeo-Christianity being a monotheist religion, having its roots in the desert, is an aberration for a race that has its origins in the forests of Europe.
Ásatrú and Christianity both originated on a regional basis. For Christianity this was the Middle East, but there was already a main Judaic religion in place at that time, so that the new Christians had to swarm out and try to convert people somewhere else. I think that Christianity is a religion without a people — without Folk — what comes reinterpreted as “universal religion.” I personally reject this idea. The best religion for a human being should be his/her indigenous religion. Not as a “must” but as a “check it out”… Only religions without Folk must recruit “subjects.”
Judeo-Christianity teaches either a hatred of other religions or a duty to convert others, often by force. They have often practiced these beliefs with cruel brutality. There was actually no history of religious warfare in Europe before the coming of Christianity…
Ásatrú is also not a dogmatic religion. Obviously, like any religion, Ásatrú does have certain rules of ethics but they are simply inherent to our people. These rules of ethics are recorded in Hávamál (Words of the High One), a poem found in the Poetic Edda that describes the values as well as the moral code of our ancestors as told by Wotan (or Odin) — the father of all. However, again, Hávamál should not be considered as something like the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments, but as a code of honor that should be respected.
Every Ásatrúer is free to regard the Æsir and Vanir, in his or her own way, as well as to practice and modify the rituals as they see fit. This freedom remains so long as it does not go against the basic values, contradict the code of honor, neglect or contradict the essence of our religion.
As a movement striving for European people to be freed of Judeo-Christian dogmas and dictatorship, Ásatrúers are often labeled today as “racists” or “hate-mongers” by the establishment. They are often being labeled even as “White Supremacists.”
But the truth is that Ásatrúers are in no way interested in a European “supremacy,” or “world government,” imposing European culture on Africans or Asians. They have no desire to make all of mankind build temples in the honor of Wotan, systematically destroying all traces of ethno-cultural diversity of the world. This is exactly what Judeo-Christians did to other cultures and religions.
Ásatrúers do not want to interfere with other cultures whatsoever. Ásatrúers do not want to destroy other races or religions just because they are different from us, because they are better or worse than us in one way or another… Ásatrúers definitely are not like Judeo-Christian conquistadors who felt the need to colonize America and turn Indians into Judeo-Christian “Latinos.” They are not like Judeo-Christianity’s missionaries who felt the need to colonize Africa and Asia.
We do not preach the supremacy of one people or race or religion above another. We do, however, believe that every person should try to keep his culture as pure as possible. This is not preaching racial hatred, as our praise of pure cultures means also pure African cultures, pure Asian cultures, pure Indian cultures, and, of course, pure European cultures.
Ásatrúers accept and respect the right of others — of whatever creed or color — to absolute self-determination. In return, they claim only the right to their own blood and soil — to inhabit and defend our ancestral lands in the way Europeans see fit. This entails an ethnoplural rather than a multicultural vision of society. The folkish aspect is thus very important for us. This is why many, if not most, Ásatrúers are strongly opposed to the so-called “multiculturalism.”
Ásatrúers believe that each individual culture is unique, as it is the result of the creative spirit of each individual people. Culture is the mirror that reflects the profound nature as well as the identity of a people. Our culture is our identity. Consequently, the mixing of cultures or peoples only brings the destruction of the identity of each race or ethnic group involved, of the cultural wisdom and richness accumulated over hundreds of years. Mixing cultures leads to anti-culture (America is an example) and decline, as it destroys our identity. This has, sadly, been proven already throughout history. A quick look through the history books is enough to make the tragic reality quite evident.
Never, ever throughout history has one multicultural society survived. The Sumerian society, one of the earliest urban societies on the face of the planet disappeared because so many different cultures started to pop up in the city. Egyptian society went down for similar reasons. The degeneration and the disappearance of these cultures was the result of their cultural and racial mixing. Globalization will surely bring us to a similar end.
So call me a “racist” if you are forced to do so by your own sick totalitarian ideology, but you are on the right way to prove me right, you are on the right way to help us awaken Europe and the world from its Judeo-Christian illusion.
Another very important aspect of Ásatrú is the high respect, understanding and, most importantly, the agreement with Mother Nature. Ásatrú is based on will and joy for life, on the instinct of self-preservation, the need to search and find, the will to understand. Furthermore, Ásatrú isn’t only about a return to what’s ours, it’s also an eternal striving to emphasize and purify our people’s positive peculiarities. Ásatrú, or at least its fundamental idea, is the only thing that can make us live and think as Europeans again.
It is the only thing that can shatter the lacerating chains shackled to the soul of our folk — the only thing that can make us cast off the yoke of a thousand years of contempt for ourselves, nature, and for life itself. Now, as the final hour encroaches and the so-called New World Order threatens our very survival, the Ásatrú is spearheading the resurgence of Aryan thought in Europe’s war for its ultimate destiny.
It is the aim of Ásatrú to cultivate our European peoples’ positive characteristics, which in the darkness of a thousand years of Judeo-Christianity (and later capitalism) have been suppressed and systematically opposed.
Wherever Judeo-Christianity goes, it destroys or severely alters the established culture. It must do that, since, quite simply put, Judeo-Christianity can not live in harmony with other belief structures. The Christian Church recognized that very early, and for the last 1500 years has terrorized the world with unheard of brutality (See for example, their infamous biblical quote: Subdue the Earth).
Ásatrúers wish to find and to return to the positive attitudes of our ancestors where life was considered as a gift from the Gods and where the respect for Nature was absolute. This love for nature, this kindness and respect towards animals is the only thing that can save our successors as well as us from the total decay born of abusive so-called “modern civilization,” and that will prevent the total destruction of Mother Earth.
The first goal of Ásatrú is the respect for our blood, our heritage, our land and the spirituality of our heathen ancestors. In practice, Ásatrúer is an individual who will eventually attempt to return to this natural state, by his or her beliefs, actions and choice of lifestyle.
This experience allows us to be conscious of the environment that surrounds us and of the profound nature of man and woman attempting to gain a primordial wisdom from the past. Ásatrúers believe that the world of mystification of nature by Ásatrú will help reawaken this primordial part of our collective subconscious, which has too long been repressed by the plague of the Christian cross and of capitalism.
Ásatrúers treasure the spiritual awe, the feeling of “connecting” with the Gods and Goddesses, which can come from experiencing and appreciating the beauty and majesty of Nature. Ásatrú deities act in and through natural law. By working in harmony with Nature, Ásatrúers can in a way become co-workers with the Gods. This attitude removes the opposition between the “natural” and “supernatural” and between religion and science.
For Ásatrúers, following a Nature religion means recognizing that they are part of Nature, subject to all its laws. They may be Gods-in-the-making, but they are also members of the animal kingdom — a noble heritage in its own right.
Ásatrúers believe that we must harmonize ourselves with nature again if we are to ever survive on this planet. To us, the everyday aspects of nature are sacred, just as they were to our ancient ancestors. The rising of the sun. The coming of wind, rain and storm. The beauty of the forest, mountains, hills and plain. The coming and going of the seasons… All of these things have very deep meaning to us — just as they did to our ancestors.
Why is Ásatrú so appealing to me personally?
Well, to begin with, being a Lithuanian, I view Ásatrú as the natural spiritual expression of people of European race. It is a religion that sprang from unique evolution and experiences of our ancestors, and therefore most in line with our, their descendents, spiritual needs.
As it had already been mentioned earlier, the revival of the indigenous Lithuanian ethnic religion today is called Romuva. It already has several thousand followers in Lithuania itself and among Lithuanians living abroad. I am one of them, of course, although I don’t have a possibility now to become a member of Kindred because I live so far from Lithuania. While visiting Lithuania in year 2002, I actually took part in some pagan rituals and celebrations of Romuva.
Romuva was the name of the most important sanctuary of the Baltic tribe of Prussians, which was destroyed by crusaders in the XIII century. Historically, the Prussian temple of Romuva was one of the last important European Pagan sanctuaries. Apart from this Romuva, there were countless local sanctuaries, which thrived in the wide Baltic region.
It is just the same today — the idea of Romuva remains in the consciousness of the Baltic cultures. Romuva is the Baltic faith. The word by itself means serenity, peace, harmony, tenderness, and beauty. These are our most cherished values. Romuva is a religion of life and harmony. The premises of Lithuanian Paganism include respect for the ancestors, the sacredness of nature, and the search for harmony.
The Baltic faith does not negate other religions and gods, but emphasizes the sacredness of nature first and foremost. The core of the faith is harmony or darna. First, darna aspires to inner harmony: people at peace with themselves. Second, it endeavors to create harmony at home and in the community. Third, it pursues harmony with the ancestors. Finally, it quests for harmony with the universe, i.e. with life and with the divinities.
Many Lithuanians today accept Lithuanian Pagans and their festivals as something natural and folkloric. In spite of their current professed Christianity, Lithuanians are staunchly proud of their Pagan past. When asked about religion, they always boast that they were the last Pagans of Europe to be Christianized.
Not only Lithuanians, but many European people question religious things more today than they ever did in the past and they have realized that Christianity doesn’t strike that internal spiritual chord that Ásatrú does. In past generations many Europeans considered themselves Christians simply because their parents did so too — even if they never went to church, never read the Bible, or practiced the religion in any way whatsoever. It had become one of those traditions that everyone did without questioning why or even thinking about. Things are so different now, though. People now question traditions and many Europeans have found that their spiritual needs were not being fulfilled by Christianity which is alien to their ancestral traditions. Some searched other faiths such as Hinduism, Buddhism, or other eastern religions. Others went New Age or began fancying themselves and started exploring some indigenous religions of far-away lands. But myself I just looked to our own European past and this led me to exploring Ásatrú. The choosing of Ásatrú was more of a reaction than an action to me. It’s in my blood. It’s the best religion for me.
In short, I can say that Ásatrú can lead anyone of our people (and primarily the youth) to understanding and asserting our own blood-rooted moral values, to unashamedly represent and protect our European identity.
People without an understanding of their origins are doomed to perish — just like a tree whose connection to its roots are severed. For this understanding to be possible, the European people today have to recover, confront and embrace the spiritual roots that have been forced underground, and put in the shadow of the cross for a thousand years.
Therefore, the idea behind Ásatrú is the reconstruction and the return to our roots and to what is real, healthy and constructive for each man and woman of European descent and their culture. Ásatrú should be seen as the fight to recreate our pagan ancestor’s view of life, values, morals and environmental perception. The goal of Ásatrú is to build on the positive characteristics of our predecessors, who in the obscurity of a thousand years of Judeo-Christianity were systematically suppressed.
When the people’s soul — the Folk soul — is being oppressed and enslaved by alien values and compulsory adherence to an unnatural pattern of life, it will inevitably yield inner degradation and moral dissolution. And, for over a thousand years, our people have been subjected to an alien religion that is as misanthropic and infertile as the deserts of the Middle East from which it originated. The dogma of the oppressor religion is in diametric opposition to our own instinctive European human nature. Through submission to this spiritual decay, people thereby oppress their own folkish identity. The consequences of this are catastrophic.
To let the ancient fire within fade out will only result in weakening your spirit and the spirit of the folk around you as well. That flame which burns high in the hearts of the true folk is the very essence of our people’s spirit.
Ásatrú is the spiritual path of our ancestors, and as such it should be again our true European religion. Ásatrú mission today is to spearhead the revival of militant Folk consciousness. Ásatrú creed is inscribed in our European blood. Ásatrúers believe that the tide of history can only be turned by the efforts of a heroic people prepared to wage spiritual war against decadence and decline. They strive to give back to the peoples of Europe pride in their identity and a renewed sense of tribal kinship.
In the times of the Christian missionary work in the North the hammer amulet (Thor’s hammer Mjöllnir) was the sign of protest by which people showed that they were still true to the old gods. Today this hammer sign is shown again — as a sign of pride in the beliefs of our ancestors and as a sign of the new strength of the Old Ways!
If after reading this introduction of mine you would like to learn more about Ásatrú, then first please explore all the links to other websites where you will find, no doubt, much more information on the Gods and the Heathen way of life. Maybe you’ll find a few useful sites, and then you can simply surf further from there.
This introduction to Ásatrú I composed with good deal of help from my father, and we used materials from many other websites that I now made links to. However, it must be said that I did not (and will not) make a link to any site which belongs to the so-called “Heathens Against Hate” network. Those, in my opinion, are nothing but just a pathetic bunch of fakes.
Our heathen ancestors did hate their enemies and they did fight against their enemies. Hate is the virtue that separates human from the beasts. The ancient Norse were fearless warriors showing no mercy towards their enemies and absolutely not proselytizing their faith unto other races.
In our modern times, youth are brainwashed at a very young age to forgive, accept, tolerate and love without restrictions or discrimination. That is NOT the way of the ancient pagan warrior. For it is not in the nature of a human being to “love” and “tolerate” in the measure that it becomes a weakness to himself and thus reflects on his folk. Love, tolerance, acceptance and forgiveness are good, but one must be selective to whom one applies these values.
There are many examples of self-proclaimed “pagans” today who have condemned traditional approach to the ancient Heathen traditions. Some even go as far as to accept Christians within their “kindred.” Certain groups advocate all-including tolerance and try to portray “paganism” as just some kind of nature worshipping hippie religion. That is the way of Wicca, the neo-pseudo-pagan movement filled with crazy drug addicts believing that walking bare foot in the woods makes them “one with nature” and their hallucinogenic drugs help them to communicate with pixies, elves, boggles, or whatever else…
This is why a real Ásatrúers prefer to be called Heathen rather than Pagan because it lets them differentiate themselves from the mass of the so-called Neopagans and Wiccans.