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Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Is Asatru/Odinism a "Pagan" religion, or is it "Heathen"?

  • How do I join, or become part of Asatru or Odinist Religion?

  • What is the difference between “Asatru” and “Odinism”?

  • Why are the years stated as being 2250 RE, 2251 RE...?

  • Are there “Holy Days” of celebration and Feasting...?

  • If this was the religion of my pre-Christian Ancestors, how come...?

  • Isn't this just another excuse for radical political activity?

  • Wasn't this website originally founded by members of Wodan's Kindred?

  • How can I learn more about Asatru/Odinism?

  • Q. Is Asatru/Odinism a "Pagan" religion, or is it "Heathen"?

    A. Actually it's neither—it's "Ancestral". We must remember that the words Pagan and Heathen were introduced by the Christian church to bring shame upon those unwilling to convert to their new religion from the east. Although we often use "Heathen" to identify our religion and practice, in reality the word is inappropriate. We should refer to our religion as Ancestral, not because we worship our Ancestors (we worship no one), but because it comes from the dark recesses of our pre-Christian European past. And the memory of that past only exists because of the perseverance of our ancient Ancestors. This was their religion (before the spiritual invasion from the east) and now—if we have awakened sufficiently—it is our religion.

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    Q. How do I join, or become part of the Asatru or Odinist Religion?

    A. There are several methods and steps, and many opinions on the matter. Actually anyone who self-professes to be a follower of the old pre-Christian gods of Europe, is considered to be a member of our Ancestral Religion, in the opinion of many Folk. Some believe that just being born into our European race, automatically includes an individual as a member of our Ancestral Religion, whether they know it or not. Some prefer a more specific indication of their participation, and join a formal Asatru or Odinist organization. There are various Asatru / Odinist groups to choose from, with varying degrees of participation and commitment. Still others believe that an individual wishing to become part of this ancient cause must participate in a Rite of Profession, performed by a recognized and experienced member of the Gothar (kindred leader - he or she who speaks with the godly tongue). In this sacred rite the individual confirms their absolute devotion to the old ways and gods in front of witnesses. One can also perform this Rite on him or her self, with the help of an Asatru or Odinist book on the subject. Most active members of Asatru wear a Thor's Hammer pendant around their neck to indicate to the world their commitment, belief, and heritage. They usually also own many books on the subject, which they have read thoroughly.

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    Q. What is the difference between “Asatru” and “Odinism”?

    A. Asatru is a specific name used by the ancient residents of Iceland and parts of Scandinavia (it literally means to be loyal to one's Ancestral gods). When Christianity began to make inroads in their country, many Icelanders adopted this name as a way to separate themselves from the Christians. These ancient residents of Iceland came from various locations in Northern and Western Europe, and are therefore our ancient cousins. In the late 1960's Asatru experienced a rebirth in Iceland, and has since become one of the two officially recognized state religions of that country. At the same time (late '60s, early '70s) in both the U.S. and Europe many hearty souls were awakening to the ancient call of their Ancestral gods and goddesses. Some adopted the name Asatru to identify their beliefs, while others used the name Odinism (Odin being the Alfather). Many believe that the two names are interchangeable, while others disagree. It has been noted by some writers on the subject that Asatruar (followers of Asatru) seem to be more spiritually oriented, while Odinists seem to be more political in their views. While this does hold true in some cases, it cannot be applied to all. There are several Odinist organizations that have no political interests, whatsoever. At the same time their are many Folk who go by the name Asatruar, and are very political. All of this said, it is true that a large number of Odinists believe that the various gods and goddesses of the Northern pantheon are simply representations of the various aspects of Nature. Whereas, most Asatruar believe that while this Nature-aspect is true, in another sense the gods are also real spiritual beings, with unique lives separate from this Earth (i.e. in Asgard). Generally speaking, Asatruar and Odinists work together, no matter the specific details of their individual beliefs, to further this religion.

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    Q. Why are the years stated as being 2250 RE, 2251 RE, 2252 RE, etc.?

    A. Several decades ago (1970's) some of the modern-day “founding” Asatruar and Odinists got together and decided that we needed our own Teutonic calendar system— one that would better reflect our European Ancestral beliefs. Why should we in Asatru/Odinism, they argued, follow a Christian-based calendar, when we are not followers of that foreign religion from the east? The Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, etc., have their own calendar system, so why not us? At the time of this decision the oldest Runic artifact discovered in Europe had been dated to around 250 years before Christ. So they chose that date as the time when Odin revealed the Runes to our race (the beginning of this current Era), and counted that as year “0”, hence the “RE” stands for Runic Era. Since then there have been a plethora of archeological discoveries that place many ancient symbols and artifacts (some of them would eventually become Runes) in use by our Ancestors thousands of years earlier (in fact, Else Christensen put the date at closer to 8,000+ years ago). However, for the sake of unity and solidarity the Asatruar and Odinists of today (most of them) have decided to adhere to this original date. It would serve no one if the date were constantly changing, based on the latest archeological discovery (although it might prove interesting).

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    Q. Are there “Holy Days” of celebration and feasting routinely observed within Asatru / Odinism?

    A. Yes there are Blots, Feasts, and Sumbles* that are celebrated today, as was the custom of our ancient Ancestors. The Asatrú Calendar that follows will work for any given year (with some minor adjustments). These are the dates observed by most of the Asatrú / Odinist Community throughout Vinland and Europe. Some Feast Days are observed on the nearest Saturday or Sunday to the actual date. However, Ostara, Midyear, Winter Finding, and Mother Night, are traditionally celebrated on the exact dates because of their solar alignments.

    January/Snowmoon 18
    Thorrablot (Sacred to Thorr)
    February/Horning 14
    Feast of Vali (Sacred to Vali)
    March/Lenting 20
    High Feast of Ostara (Sacred to Ostara, Freya, Frigga)
    April/Ostara 19
    Sigrblot - First Day of Summer in old Calendar (Sacred to Odin)
    May/Merrymoon 24
    Frigga Blot (Sacred to Frigga)
    June/Midyear 21
    Midsummer (Sacred to Balder)
    July/Haymoon 4
    Founder's Day (Remembrance of Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson and A. Rudd Mills)
    August/Harvest 23
    Freyfaxi - First Harvest Feast (Sacred to Freyr)
    September/Shedding 22
    Winter Finding - Second Harvest Feast (Sacred to Odin)
    October/Hunting 11
    Winter Nights - First Day of Winter in Old Calendar (Sacred to Freya and Ancestors)
    November/Fogmoon 27
    Feast of Ullr - Post Hunting Feast (Sacred to Ullr)
    December/Yule 20
    Mother Night - Beginning of Yule (Sacred to Frigga)
    December/Yule 21
    Yule Feast - Winter Solstice (Sacred to Odin, Freyr, Thor, Balder, and others)
    December/Yule 31
    Yule 12th Night - End of Yule Celebration (Sacred to the Family)

    *To learn more about Blots, Feasts, and Sumbles, read “Asatru - the Hidden Fortress”, available in the Catalog.

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    Q. If this truly was the religion of my ancient pre-Christian European Ancestors, how come I've never heard of it before?

    A. We must be brutally honest to answer this question. To put it quite simply, the Christian Church did everything within its power to completely and utterly destroy and remove our Ancestral Faith from the landscape of Europe, many centuries ago. The actions of such Christian heros as Charlemagne who tricked and assassinated thousands of the Gothar (ancient tribal leaders), under a flag of truce, were by themselves only partially effective. But when combined with the confiscation of lands, refusal to trade with, and outright warring on any non-Christian tribe or nation, it becomes quite obvious why many descendants of the ancient Europeans have never heard of their religious birthright. Today most children in North America will learn of the ancestral faiths of ancient Greece, Rome, and even Japan, but not of Northern, Western, and Eastern Europe. There has been a deliberate and brutal attempt to quash any memory of this ancient Faith since about 1,000 AD. Unlike other cultures (Japan for instance, where their Ancestral Faith is highly respected), there was in Europe and North America (and still is), an incessant mocking and belittling of our European Ancestral gods and Faith, in favor of the foreign god and weak-kneed religion from the east. But the reality that this web site exists (along with hundreds of others), the ever-growing list of published books on the subject, and the existence of thousands of Asatru/Odinist groups across North America, Australia, and Europe, proves the staying power of our Ancestral Memory within the hearts and souls of our people. The fact that Asatru / Odinism is today the fastest growing religion amongst "European" white inmates incarcerated within the U.S. State and Federal Prison Systems (according to a statement by the FBI in 1999), says a lot. So although you may have never heard of it before—you've heard of it now!

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    Q. Isn't this just another excuse for radical political activity?

    A. No, at least not where most Asatruar and Odinists are concerned. Of course there are always a few bad apples in every group, as history demonstrates. But the majority of active participants see this as a Cultural and/or Spiritual movement. In fact we ask our members to leave their political biases and agendas at home, be they "left" or "right" - they have no place in the activities of our ancient Ancestral Religion.

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    Q. Wasn't this website originally founded by members of Wodan's Kindred?

    A. Yes, and it's still owned and operated by us. Although Wodan's Kindred is rarely spoken of publicly, it still exists. However, these days it is strictly a private gathering of Tru Folk. While individual members remain active in their own lives, this website is presently our only "group" or Kindred outreach to those who seek liberation from the great lie—our contribution to the reawakening of our European-descended cousins across North America and the world. See About Us and My Father's Story for more information about our past activities.

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    Q. How can I learn more about Asatru/Odinism?

    A. First, you should read every word on this website. After that, if you're still interested, a visit to our Catalog would be helpful. There you will find several books on the subject, reasonably priced and available to purchase online or via the manual order form.
    Another way is to use a search engine like Google. Enter "asatru" or "odinism" and you will get several thousand listings. But beware, use your common sense to guide you through the myriad of websites. Many are full of nonsense or worse. Some have political agendas, while others are fronts for "personality cults", legitimate looking organizations who call themselves "democratic", but in reality are nothing more than dictatorships dominated by one or two individuals. Don't be fooled!

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    Suggested reading as a general introduction to Asatru / Odinism: Asatru - the Hidden Fortress (click here), by Edred Wodanson, published by Wodanesdag Press. Visit our Catalog via the above link.