Heathenry/Asatru/Paganism/Odinism whatever you choose to call it, in its many aspects and forms, in general is on the rise. We see it every day in the proliferation of social media groups, heathen gatherings, films, television, reenactments, books, podcasts, You Tube, music, stores, and more. These are all obvious signs that the Gods have indeed returned in force. It is an exciting time, but one fraught with considerable peril to the newbies and many are led astray. Our Norse/Germanic Gods are making their presence known in North America, Europe, and other parts of our world. That said, the Gods never really disappeared as they have always been with us and always will be – just as there are those Gods that will survive after Ragnarök and Baldr and Hod will return.
There have been other periods in post conversion history where the Gods grew strong, most notably in Germany and Northern Europe starting in the late 1800’s through the end of World War II. In that culmination of their return, their power, symbols, and inspiration were corrupted and deliberately misused by the Third Reich for unspeakable evils by those who were not even heathen themselves. We still pay the price for that. After that, the Gods and the forces of heathenry seemingly took a break - a vacation. We do not know what they think we only can observe. But, what its seems like they were saying is, “We gave you a chance and you blew it.” Starting in the mid 1970’s, well before the Internet age, a new era of the Norse/Germanic Gods began as several groups all unrelated emerged in Iceland, Europe, and the US. Synchronicity as Carl Jung himself would have said. So, is this another chance?
The Gods may have a plan this time around, but we do not know it. We have a plan though. We channel their energy and use it in our lives as honorable heathens for ourselves, our family, in our Tribe/group, and work. We are always learning from, and remembering, the mistakes of the past. If we open our eyes and our hearts, we can clearly see many of the pitfalls of modern heathenry as it exists now. Those who have gone “full retard” whether they are on the extreme left – in the woke, social justice, and anything goes groups with their made-up crap to the extreme right who draw inspiration from the failed past and evil exploitation of heathenry and our symbols. Both are extremes. Many are grifters. They are constantly fighting - filled with hate - rather than building anything of true significance.
How you practice Heathenry, Asatru, Paganism is of course up to you and the group you join. The heathen community – a term thrown around - is probably an exaggeration because we are actually quite factionalized. We have blogged before on the dishonest use of terms brother and sister in our faith. These should be reserved for real heathen brothers and sisters that you know in your group or Tribe. Not the random Brosatru on the Internet.
Our solution is to build an oathed Tribe - a brotherhood of heathen warriors. In our case we draw on active and veteran military, law enforcement, and first responders who are carefully selected, vetted, and oathed. We are bound to each other by oath. A large number of our members are combat veterans - we have each other's back. Unlike any other heathen group, we know of, we require a basic understanding of the faith learned from the Eddas and lore before you can become a member. We gather frequently on the East Coast of the United States, but we are not a geographical Tribe. We have a strong European membership, and we will be having events and gatherings in Norway and Germany this summer. We are independent and free of any formal ties to other groups though we can and do maintain frith with many honorable heathens outside of our Tribe and even sometimes groups. Our achievements are concrete: a strong Tribe, a Viking camp, a Viking boat nearing completion for adventures, and a Viking Hof soon to be delivered. We have even bigger dreams, and we will achieve them.
Heathenry is not a solitary practice. Many of us say it is “a religion of homework,” but, finding and joining, and oathing into an Asatru, Heathen, or Pagan group also requires “homework.” Warning, the Giants are back too. Remember they are masters of illusion and trickery. Make sure the group you join is real and not just a FB group - a modern version of the illusionary hall Útgarðr in Jötunheim. You can easily determine if they are a real company, before the games by Útgarða-Loki begin, by state registrations and if they are a real 501c3 religious profit by checking IRS online records. Also, if they are a real and registered charity, like Odin’s Warrior Tribe, which can also be determined on State and other sites. While not all Asatru/Heathen/Pagan 501c3 nonprofits are charities some are. Real charities are subject to a standard of how they can raise money and spend it. As a charity, Odin's Warrior Tribe does more for active and veteran military than any other Asatru, Heathen, or Pagan group.
If you have made a mistake and gone "full retard" and joined the wrong Asatru/Heathen/Pagan group in this new heathen age, then now is the time to correct it. We may not be the Tribe for you and that is fine. But we encourage you to find your group or Tribe. And when you do, then do so honorably. As the TV show “Kung Fu” noted, “Choose wisely grasshopper.” There are reasons that some groups only post memes and not of their achievements... Every day we see signs of the trickster Loki at work in many Asatru, Heathen, and Pagan groups. He is as the Prose Edda says, "the first father of lies." Loki will play you just like he did Hod whom he tricked into slaying his own brother Baldr. We see people who falsely affiliate themselves with groups as spies, then brag about it on You Tube all for what? You already know the answer to that, power and $. We have seen large organizations torn apart by coup d’états and treachery from within.
There are those who think Asatru, Heathenry, and Paganism is a license to steal – whether other people’s thoughts, posts, or music. We follow several leading Heathen and Academic scholars who regularly complain that their original material is stolen. Those stealing think they are doing so as heathens - what a perversion of the faith. That is some social media MUS. In the heathen world, raiding was a completely different activity than theft. The would be, and already, oath breakers, no matter what group they belong to, if they betray it, then they are doomed. There are honorable ways to leave groups. Treachery and betrayal and oath breaking are not among them. Whatever you call it, this much is clear, in our faith there is no forgiveness for “Sins.” The Gods will judge you. There is your honor and your reputation, and they are everything.
This is what “Voluspa” in the “Poetic Edda” tells us.
“A hall I saw,
far from the sun,
On Nastrond it stands,
and the doors face north,
through the smoke-vent down,
For around the walls
do serpents wind.
I there saw wading
through rivers wild
and murderers too,
And workers of ill
with the wives of men;
There Nithhogg sucked
the blood of the slain,
And the wolf tore men;
would you know yet more?”
The Tribe Galdr Chanting Raido/Raitho at Midsummer – for our honorable Journey.