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Author Topic: Asatru  (Read 3667 times)

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dragonspring

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Asatru
« on: April 10, 2013, 06:49:22 PM »

We recently attended our first Asatru rite with the Kindred and I thought I would record the elements of the ritual while they are somewhat fresh.  Before doing so, I think it would be good to lay out a few key points about Asatru beliefs in general.

First of all, Asatruar do not often petition the Gods for favors, etc.  It is believed that our Ancestors have more day to day influence on events in our lives than the Gods and for that reason they are to be honored and revered.  The Gods are thought to be busy doing God things and those things are not always beneficial to those who worship them, at least not in a way that we would wish them to be.  Many Asatru believe that reincarnation occurs within family lines and that using the ancient symbols of our faith allows us access to the minni (ancestral spirit).  Many Asatruar refer to themselves as Folk.  Since family is such an important part of the faith, children are welcome and encouraged to participate in the rites.

Heathen holidays and festivals follow a similar pattern to the neo-pagan Wheel of the Year with some variation.  Several of the holy days are dedicated to particular Gods or Goddesses but, as with most things, this is up for different interpretations by different individuals and groups.  Our Kindred likes to meet at least once a month and honors different Deities based on season and need.  The Folk honor the Gods through offerings and sacrifice and these rites include two basic types, Faining and Blot. 

Blot would be the traditional animal sacrifice where the animal’s blood is offered to the chosen Deity and then sprinkled on the Folk as a form of Blessing.   The animal’s flesh is considered as holy and is consumed by the Folk at Feast thus furthering the Blessing.  Faining is a sacrifice that does not involve blood – usually it is mead or fruit juice which is offered to the chosen Deity and then sprinkled on the Folk and shared .  In both cases, the sprinkling is done using an evergreen branch which represents Yggdrasil, the Norse World Tree.  From what I can tell, Blot seems to be geared more towards the Gods and Faining tends to be more suited for the Goddesses.   

The most holy rite of the Folk is Sumbel.  Sumbel is a toasting ritual usually consisting of at least three rounds.  Generally, the first round is reserved for the Gods with the horn passed to each individual and raised to whatever Gods they wish to honor.  The second round is reserved for the ancestors which might also include other people who have passed that the participant feels kinship to.  The third round is for giving gifts, reciting personal deeds, praising living persons, and for making oaths.  Everything that is said in Sumbel is sacred and effects the orlog and the wyrd of the entire group.  For this reason, most Kindred require council to approve any oaths that will be taken therein.

The concepts of orlog and wyrd and how they interact are the basis for the Asatru view on karma and fate.  Roughly translated, orlog is “primal law” and is the framework for how our fate is woven.  This is the part of fate that we have no control over, the absolute.  It is our innate potential and is predetermined by the Norns, by the actions of our ancestors (or past lives), and by the Gods .  Roughly translated, wyrd is to turn or to become.  This is the part of our fate that we weave through our own efforts and is also affected by the Norns who spin the fate of all humans. 
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earthmuffin

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Re: Asatru
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2013, 08:43:57 PM »

Thanks, DS. That was really informative. I like the beliefs regarding ancestors and orlog and wyrd-- they seem similar to my own take on those things.
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Re: Asatru
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 12:44:04 AM »

Very cool. :)  Thanks for sharing DS. :warmfuzz:
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Re: Asatru
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013, 11:25:52 AM »


Through my prison ministry, I have conducted or been present through many Blots and Sumbels now, and lead weekly classes. We should compare resources; I might have some sources useful to you, and vice versa.

peace,
ES
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dragonspring

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Re: Asatru
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2013, 09:33:16 PM »

Sounds good ES.  I have been compiling favorite internet sites, including several blogs. The sunnyway site that you recommended is a great resource.   :D  I have also been reading quite a bit. I am lucky that GW has such an extensive library and helps me select the most useful tomes.  We are both fortunate that we have an experienced gothi who shares his wisdom - he was very open and helpful in explaining things at our first rite.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 09:37:25 PM by dragonspring »
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Re: Asatru
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2013, 11:02:09 AM »


Yes, a good Gothi is invaluable!

peace,
ES
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dragonspring

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Re: Asatru
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2013, 03:25:42 PM »

I have been working on a Norse World Tree diagram with some correspondences.  I am planning to use it in my runic studies.  Here is what I have come up with.
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Re: Asatru
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2013, 07:46:13 AM »

Interesting that you chose Isa with Jotunheim rather than Nifelheim, both for it's traslation of "ice", and most interpretations I've seen associate holding position, waiting for opportunity, etc., rather than the Chaotic and Unconscious of Jotunheim. I probably would've used thurisaz.
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dragonspring

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Re: Asatru
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2013, 10:18:05 AM »

Yeah, I may change that on further study.  Thurisaz would be more obviously associated with Jotunheim but this correspondence is for the 9 runes which are irreversible.  I could definitely see swapping Nauthiz and Isa though based on the obvious association of Isa with Niflheim. 
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Re: Asatru
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2013, 09:52:12 AM »

I have no idea what you all are talking about  :whistle:, but your chart looks darn impressive, DS, and would seem to be a wonderful learning tool.

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Re: Asatru
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2013, 09:10:08 PM »

Though this isn't something that I see as meshing well with Asatru, at least from my recon perspective :D, but if it is something that you like and feel a connection with, then go fir it! I do have one question though: why are there specific deities placed in each realm? The Aesir reside in Asgard, and the Vanir in Vanaheim. 
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Re: Asatru
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2013, 09:45:27 PM »

Though this isn't something that I see as meshing well with Asatru, at least from my recon perspective

Would you care to elaborate?
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dragonspring

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Re: Asatru
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 10:46:47 PM »

I do have one question though: why are there specific deities placed in each realm? The Aesir reside in Asgard, and the Vanir in Vanaheim.
I am not sure what sources you are using for your recon, but Freyja and Freyr reside in Asgard - a consequence of the peace treaty from the war between the Aesir and the Vanir.

Frey was given a hall in Lossalfheim at birth and he is the Lord of Vanaheim, while Freyja is the Lady.  The other "deities" are the rulers of the respective realms where I have placed them.
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NowhereMan

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Re: Asatru
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2013, 12:01:12 AM »

Would you care to elaborate?

Ascribing elements, deities, and attributes to the realms seems a little odd to me just because that's not necessarily the type of thing that "fits" with Asatru. Its just an observation though, certainly not a criticism; if you disagree I'd love to hear your take on it. :)
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NowhereMan

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Re: Asatru
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2013, 12:06:51 AM »

I am not sure what sources you are using for your recon, but Freyja and Freyr reside in Asgard - a consequence of the peace treaty from the war between the Aesir and the Vanir.

Frey was given a hall in Lossalfheim at birth and he is the Lord of Vanaheim, while Freyja is the Lady.  The other "deities" are the rulers of the respective realms where I have placed them.

Correct that Freyr and Freyja reside in Asgard, but I've never heard of Thor being said 'rule' Midgard, for instance. Though I tend to get most of my information from the AFA, Asatru Alliance, and the Eddas, of course. So I am a little limited in my scope I guess.
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Re: Asatru
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2013, 06:40:34 AM »

Would you care to elaborate?

Ascribing elements, deities, and attributes to the realms seems a little odd to me just because that's not necessarily the type of thing that "fits" with Asatru. Its just an observation though, certainly not a criticism; if you disagree I'd love to hear your take on it. :)

Thor doesn't "rule" Midgard, but he is protector of man. There are differing opinions on what is attributed to what, the chart of the nine worlds are her way of organizing things to make them understandable to herself, which you are free to reject as you will. I don't see how that doesn't "fit" with Asatru, unless one is, somehow, not supposed to think for ones self?
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Re: Asatru
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2013, 06:46:16 AM »

I am not sure what sources you are using for your recon, but Freyja and Freyr reside in Asgard - a consequence of the peace treaty from the war between the Aesir and the Vanir.

Frey was given a hall in Lossalfheim at birth and he is the Lord of Vanaheim, while Freyja is the Lady.  The other "deities" are the rulers of the respective realms where I have placed them.

Correct that Freyr and Freyja reside in Asgard, but I've never heard of Thor being said 'rule' Midgard, for instance. Though I tend to get most of my information from the AFA, Asatru Alliance, and the Eddas, of course. So I am a little limited in my scope I guess.

I believe I answered that in my post above. I'm glad you get your info from such authoritative sources. We, too, study the Eddas, as well as glean information from the AFA. We also belong to a Kindred, and ask questions of an experienced gothi. The study of the nine worlds takes one beyond what is written in the Eddas, which, as you should know, were written down long after the Viking Age by a Christian scholar. There are things there that one can "read between the lines," if one is so inclined.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 06:48:01 AM by Ghost Wolf »
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Re: Asatru
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2013, 08:46:26 AM »


Charts like this, in 2 dimensions, don't make clear (at least to me) some of the direct connections. For example, there are several direct connections to Asgard. "Ásgarðr literally means “enclosure of the Æsir” or “enclosure of the gods.” Ásgarðr is centered on a higher plane above Midgard and can be reached through several means. Chief is Bífrøst or Ásbrú, the fiery rainbow bridge that links the world of men to the realm of the Gods. It can also be accessed from Hell by Gjallarbrú “the resounding bridge.” One can also reach Ásgarðr through the Myrkviðr the “mirk wood” which separates Ágarðr from Múspillheimr. Finally there are the rivers which flow around Ágarðr and these Thunor (Thor) must cross as he is too heavy for the bridges."  http://odinsvolk.ca/new/cosmology/

peace,
ES


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NowhereMan

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Re: Asatru
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2013, 08:48:52 AM »

Would you care to elaborate?

Ascribing elements, deities, and attributes to the realms seems a little odd to me just because that's not necessarily the type of thing that "fits" with Asatru. Its just an observation though, certainly not a criticism; if you disagree I'd love to hear your take on it. :)

Thor doesn't "rule" Midgard, but he is protector of man. There are differing opinions on what is attributed to what, the chart of the nine worlds are her way of organizing things to make them understandable to herself, which you are free to reject as you will. I don't see how that doesn't "fit" with Asatru, unless one is, somehow, not supposed to think for ones self?

Okay. I see what you're saying.
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NowhereMan

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Re: Asatru
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2013, 09:02:29 AM »

I am not sure what sources you are using for your recon, but Freyja and Freyr reside in Asgard - a consequence of the peace treaty from the war between the Aesir and the Vanir.

Frey was given a hall in Lossalfheim at birth and he is the Lord of Vanaheim, while Freyja is the Lady.  The other "deities" are the rulers of the respective realms where I have placed them.

Correct that Freyr and Freyja reside in Asgard, but I've never heard of Thor being said 'rule' Midgard, for instance. Though I tend to get most of my information from the AFA, Asatru Alliance, and the Eddas, of course. So I am a little limited in my scope I guess.

I believe I answered that in my post above. I'm glad you get your info from such authoritative sources. We, too, study the Eddas, as well as glean information from the AFA. We also belong to a Kindred, and ask questions of an experienced gothi. The study of the nine worlds takes one beyond what is written in the Eddas, which, as you should know, were written down long after the Viking Age by a Christian scholar. There are things there that one can "read between the lines," if one is so inclined.

Unfortunately, I don't have the asset of belonging to a Kindred or having the guidance of a Gothi/Gojya, so oftentimes I have to take things more at face-value, especially as a fledgling Asatruar (only two years). So if I seem a little too rigid in my approach, then please forgive me. Like everyone else, I am still learning.
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dragonspring

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Re: Asatru
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2013, 01:26:59 PM »


Charts like this, in 2 dimensions, don't make clear (at least to me) some of the direct connections. For example, there are several direct connections to Asgard. "Ásgarðr literally means “enclosure of the Æsir” or “enclosure of the gods.” Ásgarðr is centered on a higher plane above Midgard and can be reached through several means. Chief is Bífrøst or Ásbrú, the fiery rainbow bridge that links the world of men to the realm of the Gods. It can also be accessed from Hell by Gjallarbrú “the resounding bridge.” One can also reach Ásgarðr through the Myrkviðr the “mirk wood” which separates Ágarðr from Múspillheimr. Finally there are the rivers which flow around Ágarðr and these Thunor (Thor) must cross as he is too heavy for the bridges."  http://odinsvolk.ca/new/cosmology/

peace,
ES




I would have to agree that it would be very difficult to have an accurate diagram that shows all the pathways available to the gods.  As an engineer with a photographic memory, I find diagrams to be a helpful tool for learning and remembering.  This diagram was something I made to help me relate to the realms, particularly in relation to rune reading.  I used the layout last night for a soul path reading for a friend and I think it worked very well.  Time will tell.
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dragonspring

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Re: Asatru
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2013, 01:37:21 PM »

Unfortunately, I don't have the asset of belonging to a Kindred or having the guidance of a Gothi/Gojya, so oftentimes I have to take things more at face-value, especially as a fledgling Asatruar (only two years). So if I seem a little too rigid in my approach, then please forgive me. Like everyone else, I am still learning.
No worries, we are all entitled to our own opinions and practices.  I have been trying to understand what you felt about the diagram that didn't align with Asatru and what your definition is of "traditional".  I believe that you answered that on the thread about books. I do not have any experience on what is "traditional", only what I have experienced and read about.  I know there are several different forms of Asatru and that some folk are more fundamentalist in their views than others.  Our Kindred is Folkish and not overly fundamentalist. 
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