Who Are the Asatruar?
It's hard to stereotype us, except that we try to be true to the Aesir.
, theAsatru Alliance
, theOdinic Rite-Vinland
, and theAmerican Vinland Association
are some of the best-known groups.
One belief that some, but not all, Asatru believers share is that ancestry is important to one's spiritual life. Specifically, it is believed that a person with one or more ancestors from Northern Europe will get better spiritual benefits from Asatru than would a person with no Northern European ancestors. Similarly, one might believe that an American Indian would get more benefit from American Indian spiritual traditions than would a European-American dilettante. Some people wrongly fear that this belief might feed race prejudice, but, quite obviously, there are people of all races who have at least one Northern European ancestor.
One source of spiritual wisdom that we have in Asatru is the runes. The runes are an ancient alphabet, but more than just an alphabet. The runes are arranged in a meaningful order, in meaningful groupings. They have been used for magic and divination, but they can also be used for prayer and meditation. There are many books on runes, most of them utter nonsense. Choose a rune book by Edred Thorsson, Freya Aswynn, or Kvedulf Gundarsson.
How do you learn about Asatru? First, go back to the ancient sources--the Poetic and Prose Eddas, for example--and to good scholarly books about the Norse and Germanic peoples and their religion. This takes precedence over the unsupported opinions of modern people about what our ancient religion is.
There are a great many periodicals on Asatru, and it's a good idea to subscribe to a variety. My own, the Nine Virtues News, is a weekly newsletter that covers a lot of religious freedom news and includes Asatru religious articles as well. (Subscription price is $30 a year, $40 in Canada; write to Nine Virtues News, W4213 Co. Rd. 360, Daggett, MI 49821 USA.)