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Asatru FAQ

Newsgroups: alt.magick
From: (Grendel Grettisson)
Subject: Asatru FAQ
Date: 29 Jul 1993 20:55:28 GMT

The Short Asatru FAQ by Gamlinginn

Question -- WHAT IS ASATRU ?

Answer --

Asatru is a living religion, currently practiced by a growing number
of people in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere.  Asatru is
separate from, and not connected to, any other religious faith
(although there may be superficial similarities in some respects).

The word Asatru means Faith in the Aesir and the Vanir, who are best
known to most people as the Gods and Goddesses of the Old Norse
legends, although these same Deities were once worshiped by most of
the peoples or pre-Christian Europe, and others as far east as India
(they are the Deities of the Rig Veda). However, because the Old Norse
legends provide the best knowledge of them, we usually refer to them
by their Old Norse names -- Frigg and Odinn, Tyr and Zisa, Sif and
Thorr, Freyja and Freyr, and so on.  Traces remain in modern English:
Tuesday means Tyr's day, Wednesday means Odinn's day, Thursday means
Thorr's day, and Friday means either Frigg's day or Freyja's day
(scholars debate which).

Asatru is open to everyone, and there are many different sorts of
Asatruers (members of the Asatru Religion).  Anyone who wants to join
Asatru can do so -- regardless of gender, race, color, ethnicity,
national origin, language, sexual orientation, or other divisive
criteria.  Asatru today is no more "European" than Christianity is
"Jewish" or Islam is "Arabic" etc.

Asatruers often form local groups for the same reasons that people of
other religions band together. These Asatru groups are sometimes
called Hearths, or Kindreds, or other names. However, many Asatru
believers live too far away from any of their coreligionists to be
able to join such a group.

The Asatru Way of Life esteems: courage, honor, hospitality,
independence (and liberty), individuality (with self-reliance and
self-responsibility), industriousness (and perseverance), justice
(including an innate sense of fairness and respect for others),
loyalty (to family, friends, and the society of which one is a part),
truthfulness, and a willingness to stand up for what is right.

An Asatru religious ceremony is called a Blot. (Note: Linguistically,
the Old Norse word Blot means a blessing, and has nothing to do with
blood.) Eight major Blots are celebrated by Asatruers each year. These
are listed below, with the modern English name of each given first,
followed by its Old Norse name in parenthesis, and the date --
although the usual practice is to hold the Blot on the nearest

Disfest (Disablot) 31 January     Ostara (Ostara) 21 March
May Eve (Valpurgis) 30 April      Midsummer (Midsumarsblot) 21 Jun
Freysfest (Freysblot) 31 July     Fallfest (Haustblot) 23 Sep
Winter Night (Vetrnaetr) 31 Oct   Yule (Jol) 21 December

Other Blots are held for special events, such as weddings, or on
occasions such as the Feast of Vali (14 February).  Besides the Blot,
there is another kind of Asatru ceremony, called the Sumbel, which is
a kind of formalized religious toasting. Sumbels are held whenever
people want to hold them.  There are also numerous social and cultural

For more information about Asatru, write --
THE TROTH,  P.O. Box 25637,  TEMPE,  ARIZONA  85285  U.S.A.

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