Moving from the East into the West, we're covering Asatru today for the Introduction to Deity Worship series.
This Norse-based religion has deep historical roots and rich practices. So let's dive into the fun stuff!
**Note: Any information you find here has been from research that I have done personally. If you have doubts or questions about anything I've found, please feel free to follow the links I provide to the original sources and research further for yourself. This is meant to be a collection of knowledge, ideas, and a starting point for deity worship.**
Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson, an Icelandic farmer, created Asatru as an attempt to bring back the Norse faith in a Modern light. After his petition in 1972, the government of Iceland recognized the faith as a religious body, with Norway and Denmark to soon follow.
Similar groups across the United States and United Kingdom also formed around the same time. Now, the religion has spread across North America and Scandinavia.
Asatru is polytheistic and follows similar ideas to the religion of the Viking Age.
During that time there were four main deities with many minor deities and beings surrounding them. They each varied in rank and had their own duties or tasks.
There are three groups of Deities; each are involved in different parts of life:
During the battle of Ragnarök, many of the The Æsir die. The world then ends and is reborn.
There's differing opinions about the afterlife in the original faith, with the most popular believing in Valhalla. After death, you'd join Odin in Valhalla and live happily until Fenrir brought Ragnarök, or the end of the world.
Other branches believed in no afterlife at all. The consensus with death was that dying in battle or in an accident was better than natural causes.
Click here for more information about Asatru beleifs
Asatru worshipers follow along with the Nine Noble Virtues instead of Ten Commandments. These are:
Worshipers do celebrate some of the same holidays that are in other branches of Paganism with the main being:
Yule is the most important of the holidays and celebrations last for twelve days.
One of the main rituals of the Asatru faith is called a "blot" which was associated with blood sacrifice. As an alternative, you can give gifts of honey-wine, beer, or cider to the gods.
There's also a ritual toast called sumbel.
Click here for more information about Asatru rituals
Here are some prominent gods and goddesses you can worship with the Asatru faith:
Click here for more information about the Asatru deities