The rebirth of the old religion of Asatru

Before Christianity became the official religion of Norway, most Scandinavian peoples worshiped the pantheon of Nordic gods, which sieves, courage and unforeseen behavior could endanger the good Viking. These old beliefs are now experiencing a revival, and this religion, based on the cult of natural phenomena, it is called Asatru. It first appeared in Iceland, and is now spreading throughout Scandinavia, as well as in other European countries, in North America and Australia.

Asatru, that is, "belief in AEsir”, gods of pre-Christian Scandinavia, it belonged to the beliefs of the Germanic tribes, as well as the peoples of distant India, as evidenced by the descriptions in the Rigveda. Medieval Icelandic text Galdrabók tells about people, who had invoked the name AEsir long before the adoption of Christianity by most Germanic peoples. Even in the 18th century. The Sarns often worshiped a god named Tor, whose cult they borrowed from the beliefs of neighboring Vikings before the advent of Christianity.

The Contemporary Religion of Asatru, open to everyone, regardless of race, ethnic origin or sexual orientation, was organized in the mid-years 70. almost simultaneously in Iceland, Great Britain and USA.

Principal gods and goddesses of Asatru, friendship, righteous and reliable, to Tor (Tor), god of thunder and friend of common people; Odyn (Odinn), father of all things, the most important god, poet and itinerant sorcerer; Tyr, god of war and justice; Frej (Freyr), god of peace, harvest and nature; Baldur, "God of bleeding”; Heimdall, guardian of Asgard; Frigga, wife of Odin and mother of all gods and mankind; Freya, goddess of fertility, love, magic and war; Idunna, goddess of renewal; Whole, which rules the place between death and being born again, that is, reincarnation, and Nerthus, Mother Earth, mentioned by Tacitus in Germania. Followers of Asatru also worship nature spirits (landowners) and various guardian spirits, such as Disir and Alfar (elves).

The main rituals in the Asatru religion are blót (victim) and sumbel (toast). It could be, that the first word comes from blód, that is, blood, however, modern Asatru worshipers make offerings of mead, beer and cider. The drink is dedicated to a god or goddess, which is made up of honor, and to drink a part of it means union with this particular deity. The remainder of the drink is poured over as a libation. Sumbel, ritual toast to god, has three phases. The first toast rises to the god Odin, who obtained poetry mead from the giant Suttunga. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it's worth shedding a few drops for Loki, the smartest of gods. The second toast is drunk in honor of the ancestors and the dead, while the third is in honor of any person, which one wants to celebrate in this way.

Many Asatru followers consider magic an integral part of their spiritual life. This magic is based on cooperation with the natural, but with invisible forces, including forces enchanted in runes, that is, the old Germanic alphabet, and also in enchanting (Magic) and shamanic practices (s / ór). Magic allows you to predict future events, heals and helps people in their endeavors, but it is not a method of everyday life.

Although the Asatru religion does not have dogmas or rigidly set rules of faith, it is by no means amoral. It is based on the Nine Noble Virtues: courage, the truth, honor, loyalty, hospitality, diligence, persistence, self-discipline and independence. Thanks to them, people in any situation can decide about the appropriate course of action and be righteous with themselves, your family, communities and gods, as long as they try to do so, what's right. The gods made the universe out of chaotic material (it is depicted by the body of the deceased giant Ymir). The remaining chaos is still random, which enables the universe to evolve. The gods aren't even all-powerful, therefore perfection is not required of or worshiped.

Wielebny Patrick Jórósvin Buck