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     1.  What do you mean by Odinism?

             Odinism isthe indigenous religiousfaith of theScandinavian, B
     and other  peoples of Northern Europe; it is an amalgam of attitudes,
     and behavior,  both a  personal faith and  a communal way  of life.
In its
     beginnings Odinism is probably as old as our race. Historically it ma
y be
     divided into three periods:

          A.   Before the coming of Christianity
          B.   Its gradual merging with Christianity and the ensuing Perio
d of
               Dual Faith, and
          C.   Its efforts in the present century to free itself of Christ
               influences and to reassert its ancient independence.

      2. How have the tenets of Odinism been preserved?
         Is there an Odinist holy book?

         The ancient oral traditions of Odinism were during the Middle Age
     embodied in writings, the Odinist books of wisdom, the principle of w
     are the Eddas.  The poetic Elder Edda presents the Odinist cosmogony,
     mythological lays and the heroic lays, including the story of Sigurd
     Brynhild which were in later times moulded into the Lay of the Nibelu
     The Younger Edda is a prose synopsis of the Odinist faith.

      3. When did Britain and the rest of Europe cease to be Odinist?

         The first of our Northern countries to succumb to the false promi
ses of
     the  new religion were  the Goths, in  the fourth century  of the Chr
     era; the  Icelanders became Christians by official  decree in the yea
r 1000
     CE, to be followed by the  Scandinavian countries over the next two h
     years. England was "converted" between 597 and 686 CE and Scotland so
     earlier (although some of  the people of Ross-shire were  still worsh
     the old Gods as late as the seventeenth century). Ireland, when Patri
ck the
     Proselytizer landed  there in the  year 432,  was described  as "a  h
     land";  Dublin and the other principal Irish towns were actually foun
ded by
     Odinist Vikings, who dedicated the country to the god Thor.

      4. Well, the people were converted to Christianity.
         Would you have denied them their freedom of choice?

         They had no choice. Most of those who were "converted" had little

     knowledge of Christian doctrine; the new religion was imposed on them
     sword and sermon. The Revd S. C. Olland's Dictionary of English Churc
     History is explicit:   "The adoption of Christianity generally depend
     upon State action: the king and his nobles were baptized and the peop
     largely followed their example. . . . .The wholesale conversions. . .
 . .
     could not have implied individual conviction."  On one day alone in t
     year 598 more than ten thousand English "converts" were baptized in a
     ceremony; it is unlikely that they had received a great deal of instr
     in the Christian faith. Even in the twentieth century the  vast major
ity of
     Christians  are still quite ignorant  of Christian doctrine.  It was


     5.  Why do you say that Odinism was practiced in the Church
         during what you have called "the Period of Dual Faith"?

         We can see the evidence everywhere, even today. When the foreign
     missionaries subverted Britain what they  could they repressed and wh
     they could not they ignored or adopted. The ancient spring renewal fe
     of  Summer  Finding  was  transformed  into  the  Christian  feast  o
f  the
     resurrection; the Mid-winter festival of Yule became Christmas. Not o
     the folk festivals connected with the great changes of season - May D
ay and
     Midsummer  and  Harvest  -  but numerous  customs  associated  with
     milestones, birth  and marriage  and death,  all showed  that the  ol
d Gods
     lived  on in  the life  and in  the  language of  the people.  Many o
f  the
     external signs of the ancient faith were retained: water was consecra
     and wood was blessed. A Christian writer, Professor P. D. Chantepie d
e la
     Saussaye DD, has said, "We recognize in this folklore a form of histo
     continuity, the bond of union between the life of the people in pagan
     In Christian times." Even today when we say, "Touch wood!" we are rec
     the  sacred nature of an important symbol  of our ancient religion; a
nd how
     many people are aware that they  are paying unconscious tribute to th
e Gods
     of  Odinism when  they light  their Christmas or  Paschal candles  or
     bonfire  on the  fifth of November?  Or that  the very  "Christmas tr
ee" is
     itself the  World Ash of Odinism? Even the sign  of the cross is real
ly the
     sign of Thor's hammer!

     6.  How long did the Period of Dual Faith last?

             The  period during which Odinism  was actually practiced with
in the
     Church extended in Britain from about  the seventh century CE right d
own to
     the 1930's, when the purity of ancient worship was revived by a numbe
r of
     groups working outside  the Church for the  first time for more  than
     thousand years.

     7.  But the adoption of Christianity, a creed that preaches peace on
     and  the equality of all men was, surely  you must agree, a step forw
ard in
     the civilizing of our people?

         Odinists were happy enough to put up with the new doctrines so lo
ng as
     they were  allowed to go  on practicing their  own faith in peace.  B
ut the
     inherent contradiction  at the heart of  Christianity is that it  den
ies in
     action the  faith  that it  professes  verbally.  There is  no  histo
ry  of
     religious warfare in Europe before the coming of Christianity. It is
     indeed that the message  of peace on earth has been propagated with s
o much
     bloodshed.  As for the equality  of all men, we just  do not believe
in it;
     and even the Christian god has his "chosen people".

     8.  Why is it now necessary to reassert what you describe as Odinism'
     ancient independence? Why can you not , in the present unsettled stat
     of  society, leave  well alone. Surely  we should be  getting togethe
r, not
     creating more divisions amongst ourselves?

         First of all it is necessary to state that because of its organic
     origins  and   development  Odinism  is   a  religion   of  visual
     Nevertheless,for just so long  as Christian and Odinist ethics  coinc
ided -
     even superficially - it was possible for Odinists to worship the Gods
     their  Christian  designations;  but only  for  so  long  as they  re
     adequate interpretations of the true divinities of Odinism (the natur
e of a
     god being of greater importance than his name).


         The Churches are today opposed to many of the things that Odinist
s hold
     sacred:  they sin against nation and people by espousing causes whose
     ultimate  aim is our destruction;  they condone legislation  that has
     statutory  approval  to  unnatural  sexual deviance  and  perversion;
     encourage criminal activities by calling for the exemption from punis
     or  even  prosecution, of  whole  categories of  lawbreakers;  they p
     financial aid  for revolutionary  propaganda and even  terrorist acti
     against our  own people; they remain totally indifferent to the rape
of our
     countryside in the  short-term interests of  economic gain and  techn
     and they have  successfully divided the people  of our own  islands a
     themselves  (eg, in  Ireland).  Life in  Northern  Europe is  today,
     fifteen  hundred  years of  Christianity,  almost  entirely concerned
     material wealth and self-indulgence  and the Christian clergy have  l
     forsaken  their  spiritual  vocations in  order  to  preach  the caus
es  of
     subversion and revolution.

              The people yearn for spiritual bread but have been offered b
y the
     Churches only a political stone. It is no longer possible for anyone
who is
     aware of  his debt to  our past or  who has concern  for the future
of our
     nation and  race to  remain within  the  Christian Church.  This must
     however be taken  to imply that Odinists bear hatred towards Christia
ns; we
     recognize that there are many good  and sincere people within the Chr
     community  from whose example Odinists themselves could not fail to p
     But the Church  is itself  largely responsible for  the "present  uns
     state of society". Odinists see it as their duty to oppose those who
     the things that they regard  as holy. If we cannot in justice  always
     the sheep we should and do attack the shepherds.

     9.  But surely it would be preferable to have one god for all mankind

         Why? One god or many Gods, it really does not matter. Our true Go
ds are
     actually  worshipped by  peoples  all  over  the  world,  using  thei
r  own
     mythologies and adapting their worship to local cultures and conditio
     We prefer to  worship the Gods in our own way  with people of our own
     And  we respect the right of others to their own beliefs. It was an O
     gothi (priest), Sigrith,  who told  the foreign missionaries,  "I mus
t  not
     part from the faith which I have held, and my forefathers before me;
on the
     other hand  I shall make  no objection  to your believing  in the god
     pleases you best."

     10. You have mentioned the "Gods of Nature". Does this mean that Odin
         are nature-worshippers?

         Odinists recognize man's spiritual kinship with Nature, that with
     himself are in essence all that is in the greater world, which perfor
     within him the same functions as in the world. Thus there are in man
     four elements, the vegetative life of plants, an ethereal body - the
     soul - corresponding to the heavens, the sense of animals, of spiritu
     things and reason and understanding. Because in this way man comprise
     all the parts of the world within himself he is thus a true image of


         Also containing the essence of the universe within themselves, th
e Gods
     are everywhere and in everything: they show themselves to us as fire,
  as a
     flower, as  a tree.  Odinists  believe that  all life  should  be liv
ed  in
     communion and in accord with the mind of the Gods. Christianity turne
d away
     from Nature and concentrated its adherents' attention on the human so
ul and
     became obsessed with the fall of man, by which it was  implied that m
an had
     brought  all Nature down into  sin with him.  Christian teaching enco
     man to  see Nature only in her physical form whereas Odinists regard
     as a true manifestation of  the divine. "We and the cosmos  are one,"
     D. H. Lawrence, "The  cosmos is a vast living  body, of which we  are
     part.  The sun is  the great heart  whose tremors run  through our sm
     veins.  The  moon is  a great  gleaming nerve-centre  from which  we
     forever.  . . . Now  all this is  literally true, as men  knew in the
     past and  as they will know again." Whoever shall properly know himse
lf and
     all  things in  himself shall know  the Gods.  The Odinist,  because
of his
     awareness of his relationship with Nature, is able to feel a consangu
     kinship with plants and animals and the land - a complete oneness.

     11. You speak of "the Odinist mythology". Do you really expect anyone
         believe in a myth?

             Every  religion is  mythical in  its development. Mythology
is the
     knowledge  that  the ancients  had  of the  divine; it  is  religious
     expressing  in  poetical terms  mankind's desire  for personal  and v
     gods.  The mythology of Odinism consists of a group  of legends, fabl
es and
     tales  relating to  The Gods, heroes,  demons and other  beings whose
     have been preserved in popular belief. Our object must be to discover
, with
     the  help of  our mythology,  the Gods  who manifest  themselves thro
     Nature:  in the streets and in the  trees and in the rocks, in the  r
     streams and in the  heavy ear of grain, in  the splendor of the sun
by day
     and in the star-strewn sky at night.  But it is not the myth  that Od
     believe in but the Gods whom that myth helps us to understand.

     12. What, then, is the Odinist mythology?

         Briefly, our mythology unfolds in five acts (which may be compare
d to
     the evolution of the seasons of the year):

           A.   the Creation (spring)
           B.   the time preceding the death of Balder (summer)
           C.   the death of Balder (summer's end)
           D.   the time immediately after the death of Balder (autumn)
           E.   Ragnarok, the decline and fall followed by the regeneratio
n of
                the world (winter and spring)

         The first effort of speculative man has always been to solve the
         mystery of existence, to ask what was in the beginning. The condi
         of things before the world's creation is expressed in the Eddas
         negatively; there was nothing of that which sprang into existence

                                        Nothing was
                                        Neither land nor sea,
                                        Nor cool waves.
                                        Earth was not ,
                                        Sky was not,
                                        But a gaping void
                                        And no grass.


         Ymir was a frost-giant, eg chaotic matter:

                                        From Ymir's flesh
                                        The world was made,
                                        And from his blood the sea.
                                        Mountains from his bones,
                                        Trees from his hair,
                                        And the welkin from his skull.

             There were as yet no human beings upon the earth when one day
as the
     Gods Odin,  Hoener and Loder were  walking along the seashore  they s
aw two
     trees from which they created the first human pair. Odin gave them li
fe and
     spirit, Hoener endowed them with reason and the power of motion  and
     gave them blood, hearing, and a fair complexion. The man they called
     ash)--and the woman Embla (elm). As their abode the newly-created pai
     received from the Gods Midgarth and from them is descended the whole

             Balder is the godof the summer, the favorite god ofall Nature
 and a
     son of Odin; he is one of the wisest and most eloquent of the Gods an
d his
     dwelling is in a place where nothing impure can enter. The story of B
     well-known in the Northern  countries, finds explanation in the  seas
ons of
     the year,  in the change from  light to darkness; he  represents the
     and clear summer and his death is the impermanent victory  of darknes
s over
     light, of winter over summer, of death over life. When  Balder is dea
d, all
     Nature   mourns.  His  death   presages  the  disaster   of  Ragnarok
,  the
     consummation of  the world,  followed by  its cleansing  and return t
o  the
     primal state.

         Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Gods, represents a great conflict b
     good and evil  powers. The idea  is already suggested  in the story
of the
     Creation in which the Gods are represented as proceeding from giants,
     is from an  evil and chaotic  force. And whatever  can be born must
     die. In the seasons and activities of Nature we see a constantly recu
     picture of the necessity for death and the equal certainty of its bei
     overcome. At Ragnarok all the worlds of Nature will be destroyed and
     the giants must die. But from that catastrophe will emerge a renewed
     and the Gods themselves will be born again. We see this drama enacted
     every year in miniature when autumn heralds the period of decline and
     until with the spring we witness the magic of resurrection and new li

         This, briefly told, is the myth that explained to our ancestors t
     origin and the origin of the world, the creation of life from chaos a
nd the
     mergence of evolution and harmony.

     13.  Who is Odin?

             Odinis the first and eldest ofthe Gods, the all-pervading spi
rit of
     the  sun, the moon, the stars,  the hills, the plains and  of man. Wi
th his
     help were made heaven and  earth and the first man and woman. All kno
     came from him; he is the inventor of poetry and discovered the runes;
     governs all things, protects the social organization influences the h
     mind, avenges murder and upholds the sanctity of the oath. He is well
     named Allfather. And because he chooses to surround himself with a
     bodyguard of those who have fallen in battle he is also known as
     Valfather, Father of the Slain.


         In the mythology Odin's single eye (the other he sacrificed in ex
     for wisdom) is the sun, his broad-brimmed hat the arched vault of hea
     his  blue  cloak the  sky.  A conspicuous  passage  in the  Edda  is
     sacrifice of himself to himself:

                                        I know I hung
                                        on the windy tree
                                        nine nights through:
                                        I know I hung
                                        I know I hung
                                        myself to myself,
                                        on the tree
                                        that springs
                                        from roots unknown.

         Order is the basis of Odin's government. Nature the garment by wh
ich he
     manifests himself. Odinism says:  study the natural laws, conform to
     and you will prosper; ignore them or violate them and you must suffer
     Just so far as you study and obey Nature exactly so far will Nature r
     or punish you. For under Odin the government of Nature is harmonious

     14. Who are the other Gods of Odinism? What kind of Gods are they?

         We have already spoken of Odin and Balder. Of the other Gods the
     known is Thor, the most famous story concerning whom tells of this
     Warrior-God crushing the powers of chaos. He rules over clouds and ra
     and makes his presence known in the lightning's flash. He is the prot
     of the farm worker, the chief god of agriculture, a helpful deity who
     the crops grow and who also blesses the bride  with fertility. In the
     of  Professor P. V. Glob,  " He wishes  all men well and  stands by t
hem in
     face  of their enemies and against the new God, Christ."  Tyr is the
God of
     martial  honor, the  most daring  and intrepid  of the  Gods. He  dis
     justice in time of peace and valor in war. He it was who sacrificed
a hand
     when  overpowering the evil Fenris Wolf,  showing us that we ourselve
s must
     be prepared  to make sacrifices in  order to protect ourselves  and o
ur kin
     from those who seek to cast our society into anarchy and chaos.

         Frey is God of the harvest and is therefore also a God of fecundi
ty and
     growth;  some  authorities  believe that  he  and  Christ  may have
     blended, in England at least, in so a God of fecundity and growth; so
     authorities believe that he and Christ may have become blended, in En
     at least, in the new religion of Christianity. Freya is a Goddess of
     and the sister of Frey: barren women may invoke her and she is also t
     Goddess of death for all women. Another God, Vali, is called he Aveng
     because when he was yet only one night old he avenged Balder's death,
     demonstrating the moral obligation we have of punishing society's ene
     Other Gods include Brage, Heimdal, Vidar, Frigg and Forsete.


         The Gods of Odinism are the ordaining powers of Nature clothed in
     personality. They direct the world which they themselves created. The
y are
     referred to collectively as the Aesir, of whom every living thing for
ms  a
     part (thus not all the Gods are necessarily good ones). Objects and
     phenomena that are regarded as greater or lesser Aesir are qualities

     as thought and memory, and natural things such as the sun, rivers,
     mountains  and trees as  well as animals  and ancestral  spirits. The
re are
     also  the guardian  Gods of  the land,  of skills  and occupations  a
nd the
     spirits of national heroes, the Einheriar and other men and women who
     outstanding deeds and virtues have contributed to our civilization,
     culture and well-being.

     15. Is there a table of commandments that sets out the rules to be
         followed by Odinists?

         The main rules of Odinist conduct are listed in the Nine Charges

         1.   To maintain candor and fidelity in love and devotions to the
              friend:  though he strike me I will do him no scathe.
             2.   Neverto make a wrongsome oath: for great andgrim is the
            for the breaking of plighted troth.
         3.   To deal not hardly with the humble and lowly.
         4.   To remember the respect that is due great age.
             5.  To suffer noevil to go unremedied andto fight against the

       enemies of family, nation, race and  faith:  my foes will I fight

     in the field nor be burnt in my house.
             6.  To succor thefriendless but to putno faith in the pledged
           of a stranger people.
         7.   If I hear the fool's word of a drunken man I will strive not
: for
              many a grief and the very death groweth out of such things.
             8.   To give kind heedto dead men:  straw-dead, sea-dead or

         9.   To abide by the enactments of lawful authority and to bear w
              courage and fortitude the decrees of the Norns.

             The Chargesare based on the rules oflife indicated by the Hig
h Song
     of Odin and in the Lay of Sigurd in which the Valkyrie gives counsel
     Sigurd. They may be summarized as demanding in the struggle for life
     self-reliance which should be earned by a love of learning and indust
ry, a
     prudent foresight in word and deed, moderation in the gratification o
f the
     senses and in the exercise of power, modesty and politeness in interc
     and a desire to earn the goodwill of our fellow men.

     16. The first four Charges seem fairly innocuous, but I must say the
         Fifth Charge sounds rather sinister! Isn't it all very violent an


             "To suffer no evil to gounremedied," does appear to run contr
ary to
     the  trends  of  modern progressive  thinking.  And  the  idea of  fi
     "against the enemies  of family, nation, race and  faith" would be an
     to many people. Unlike the Christian,  whose duty it is to "turn  the
     cheek" (advice that is  more often observed ub  tge breach than  othe
     and to be patient and long-suffering under the most grievous attacks,
 it is
     the duty of the Odinist to punish wrongs and above all those wrongs o
     to his own family and kin. Society's enemies already know the basic l
aw of
     life:  that the race is to the strong and that the meek will inherit
     earth only when the earth inherits them dust to dust. Others should a
     learn to recognize this truth.

     17. What do you mean by "kinship loyalty"?

             We mustof course give loyal service to anyoneor any concept t
o whom
     or to which loyalty is due. But we owe our loyalty in the fullest deg
ree to
     our immediate family and to  those who are related  to us by blood-ti
es  or
     blood-brotherhood.  A husband owes loyalty  to his wife,  for instanc
e, and
     vice versa, just as  a son owes loyalty to his parents  to a greater
     than  to anyone  outside the  immediate family circle.  Beyond that
we owe
     allegiance  to  our own  country  and  racial kindred  before  we can
     consider giving it to strangers who  must therefore have the last cal
l upon
     us.  But  there may  be  occasions  when loyalty  to  nation  and kin
     transcend even our loyalty to our own family.

             This concern for kin is an essential part of Odinist teaching
. More
     than twelve centuries  ago the Christian  proselytizer, Boniface, wro
te  of
     the  Odinists, "Have  pity  on  them, because  even  they   themselve
s  are
     accustomed to  say,  "We are  of  one blood  and  one bone".  Filial
     patriotism and kinship loyalty are religious principles still adhered
 to by
     Odinists. In the words of the Edda:

          We shall help our kinsmen as foot helps foot. . .
          If one foot stumbles then shall the other restore balance.

     18. You seem to have an exaggerated respect for things like law and o
         What about unjust laws?

             No, not an "exaggerated respect for law and order"; just rega
rd for
     the rules  by which  civilized man must  live. But laws,  to be  just
, must
     apply equally to all citizens and groups without discrimination. Odin
     certainly have a duty to oppose what they regard as unjust laws but i
     doing so they accept the consequences of their opposition and do not
     to be given exemption or favorable treatment.

     19. What view do Odinists take of modern, enlightened substitutes for
         traditional, repressive forms of punishment? Do you agree that th
         wrong-doer in our society is more often than not the victim of hi
         environment and that we are thus all guilty?


             Odinists refuse to accept responsibility for the actions of o
     Just as  it would be wrong to accept credit  for another person's mer
its so
     it is wrong to  relieve the wrong-doer  of responsibility for his  ac
     "Crime  should  be  blazoned abroad  by  its  retribution,"  wrote Ta
     Punishment  should be  an  unpleasant and  memorable  experience. Tho
se  in
     authority who neglect to punish the criminal adequately place themsel
ves in
     the position of  being accessories  after the fact.  Odinists believe
     anyone who seriously  or continually flouts  the law should  forfeit
for  a
     period  of time  his rights to  protection under  that law;  enemies
of the
     community should not be  permitted to run with the  hare and hunt wit
h  the

     20. The Sixth Charge speaks about putting no faith in the pledged wor
d of
         a stranger people. What is meant by "a stranger people"?

             By "a strangerpeople" we mean those from differentcultures th
an our
     own.  It is a warning that words often mean different things to diffe
     peoples, that their standards are not always the same as our own. It
     simply one of those things in life that ought to be widely known and
     appreciated but does not seem to be!

     21. Please explain the Ninth Charge, which speaks of "the decrees of
         Norns". Who or where are the Norns?

         The Norns are the three Fates of Northern mythology, the Goddesse
s of
     time. They are named Urd (the past), Verdande (the present) and Skuld
     future). They watch over man; they spin his thread of fate at his bir
     and mark out with it the limits of his sphere of action through life;
     their decrees are inviolable destiny, their dispensations inevitable
     necessity. Urd  and  Verdande,  the  past  and  present,  may  be  se
en  as
     stretching a web from the radiant dawn of life to the glowing sunset,
     while Skuld, the future tears it to pieces!

         Man's fate must be met but the way in which it is met rests with
     individual; and by the way in which he meets his fate man is able to
     demonstrate his free will. This important principle shows a man that
it is
     worth while fighting life's battles courageously while at the same ti
     fate's inexorable nature allows no room for careful weighing of  argu
     for and against or for anxiety about the nature of things that are in
     case destined to happen.

     22. What other aspects of human behavior are admired by Odinists?

         The Noble Virtues are held in high esteem.   They are:



         The Odinist must do what lies before him without fear of either f
     friends or the Norns. He must hold his own council, speak his mind an
     seek fame without respect of persons; be free, independent and daring
     his actions; act with gentleness and generosity towards friends and
     kinsmen but be stern and grim to his enemies (but even towards the la
     to feel bound to fulfill necessary duties);  be as forgiving to some
as he
     is unyielding and unforgiving to others. He should be neither trucebr
     nor oathbreaker and utter nothing against any person that he would no
t say
     to his face. These are the broad principles of Odinist behavior, feat
     of the spirit that made our Northern peoples great.

     23. You call industriousness a Noble Virtue?  What is so spiritual ab

         Industriousness is a virtue which, partly inherited, is neverthel
     acquired largely through training  and self-discipline; it is at once
     something we owe to ourselves, to our family and to the community. Th
     is a time for relaxation as there is a time for most things but it is
     for instance, during our working hours; neither should it be at the e
     of other members of the community by way of the so-called welfare sta

     24. What about material possessions?

             A principle of Odinism is the realization of the worthlessnes
     fleeting nature of  worldly possessions. Enough should be  enough. Ad
am of
     Bremen,  a Christian,  remarked how  Odinists with  whom  he had  com
e into
     contact "lack nothing of what we revere except our arrogance. They ha
ve no
     acquisitive love of gold, silver, splendid chargers, the furs of beav
er and
     marten or any of the other possessions we pine for". One thing alone
     worth while in this life:  the stability of a well-earned reputation.
     "Goods perish, friends perish, a man himself perishes," says the Edda
     fame never dies to him that hath won it worthily."

     25. You describe self-reliance as one of the Noble Virtues. Surely ev
         you must admit that none of us is, or can be, self-reliant in the

         Self reliance does not, as you appear to suggest, imply selfishne
ss or
     mean that a man must live in isolation from his fellows. We recognize
     men are dependent upon Nature and on the community of which he forms
     he has obligations to that community as well as to his employer (or
     employees). He receives from society and he owes a debt to society.
     Odinism teaches that people must be encouraged to stand on their own
     and  not to ask  continually, "When is  somebody going to  do somethi
ng for


     26. Do Odinists believe in prayer?

         Odinism is not a philosophy invented to ease mankind's comfort or
     assuage his fears; that kind of  religion acts against rather than in
     interests because it takes from him his independence and self-respect
     makes  of  him  a  humble  supplicant   by  encouraging  him  to  she
d  his
     responsibilities. The person who prays to a saint or God asking for h
     or guidance is seeking to shift the responsibility from his own shoul
     surrendering his own faculties of thought and physical action, unless
     also does something to help himself. To pray is to beg and plead; it
     self-abasement ("we worms of the earth"). That is not the object of t
     religion which, as Carlyle has told us, is "transcendent wonder":  wo
     without limit or measure, reverent admiration alike for the immensity
     creation, the inspiration of the human heart and the capability of th
     human brain.

             Odinists in theirinveitan (praise); singular, inveita) callup
on the
     Aesir to approach them in their thoughts as  they themselves strive t
     the   Aesir. Through increased understanding is achieved wholeness, a
     with the Gods that helps us to think out our problems and how they ma
y be
     overcome.  We  project  the  Gods  within  ourselves  and  that, exte
     realized, speaks to the divine in others. Through their invetian Odin
     express gratitude for life and the world they live in and resolve to
     to make it better - not just to  leave it to "someone up there" or ho
pe for
     something better in the next world.

     27  How do Odinists regard good and evil?

             Evil of itself cannot originatein man but must always beregar
ded as
     an intruder, like an illness or  an affliction; as such it must  be o
     and  expelled. Good and evil  are relative:  there can  be no absolut
e norm
     and actions must depend upon circumstances and motives as well as tim
e and
     place. The ethical standards relating to custom and tradition are fle
     and responsive to the specific demands of different ages, so that mor
     judgments of what is right and wrong cannot be placed in a fixed syst
     of standards but must vary according to time and situation. Just as t
     world is constantly changing so are values constantly changing, so th
     nothing can be regarded as unconditionally good or evil in all ages.
     general, that which disturbs the social order and peaceful evolution
     causes unhappiness - including such natural disasters as floods and
     earthquakes, disease and pollution - obstructs the natural developmen
t of
     the world and must be regarded as evil. As for sin, Odinism knows but
     major sins -  perjury and murder:  that is sin against the Gods and s
     against one's fellow man.

     28. Do you believe in Original sin?

             Man is inherently good andthe world in which he livesis good.
     is no sin in man which has been inherited from his first, or any othe
     ancestor;  it is  enough that  he should  be held  responsible for  h
is own
     actions. But a lthough his spirit is good, his flesh and his senses m
     succumb to evil, especially when by neglecting his own spiritual well
     being he has left his defenses weakened. So it is necessary for him t
o be
     able to distinguish between what is good and what is evil.


     29  What do Odinists believe about marriage - and divorce?

             Odinists support theinstitution of marriageand marital fideli
     a broken marriage is and unhappy marriage and traditional Odinic law
     great latitude  to separation of husband wife, at the will of both pa
     if a good reason exists for the desired change. It is recognized that

     worst possible service is rendered to those who are forced to live to
     against their will; but it must be borne in mind that marriage is bas
     a solemn exchange of vows between two people and  as such can only be
     by agreement between the same two people.

     30. Does Odinism offer salvation to those who believe?

         Odinism offers no salvation in the sense in which that term is us
ed by
     Christians. Instead, the Odinist seeks liberation by bringing the Aes
     into the world of man and into his daily life - whether at home or at
     Liberation refers to the human condition as we know it, which is subj
ect to
     birth and death and decay. It is not, " the kingdom of God which is w
ith in
     you," but the Gods themselves which exist within man.

     31. Does man possess an immortal soul? Is there a life after death an
         will people go to Odin in heaven?

         Odinists believe that man consists of body (i.e. matter) and spir
it or
     soul.  Physical man is  born, produces young  and eventually dies.  B
ut the
     whole of  Nature  shows us  that  death is  not  final: the  material
     decomposes and recombines, it is regenerated and lives again. As it w
as in
     the beginning so it is now; every atom continues to exist and must ex
     as in the beginning. There is nothing new under the sun and what we c
     death is really nothing more than transformation.

             Spiritual  man is divided into two distinct souls, one passiv
e, the
     other  active,  the divine  and  the  human,  which  we call  God-sou
l  and
     human-soul. The first is in the fullest sense a divine being, contemp
     a past eternity and a future immortality, occupying itself in contemp
     rather than in action and to be regarded as a kind of guardian spirit
     Although the God-soul and the material body are associated in this li
     the former is not bound to man in the way that, say, a limb is (it ma
     indeed  absent  itself   from  his   body  during  sleep   or  period
s   of
     unconsciousness). Without the spirit there can be no motivation:  whe
n the
     physical change (i.e. death) takes place the God-soul passes to anoth
     living  organism -a human being, a tree, an animal, perhaps a bird. T
     is the element that gives man his mystical attachment to a particular
     district or country (which is what we call patriotism):  because it i
     where the God-souls of countless generations of ancestors dwell. It i
     because  of this  that man  is compelled  to nurture,  love and  defe
nd his
     country, which is, in the purest sense, a holy land. The philosopher
     Fichte said, "Death  is the ladder  by which my  spiritual vision ris
es  to
     anew life and a new nature." This is also the reason why Odinists reg
     all life as sacred and unnecessary violence as criminal.


             The  human-soul  (or self-soul),  is  essentially  individual
 to  a
     particular person.  It may be likened  to his personality, his  fame
or his
     infamy.  Because the  whole of man's life  is a continuing struggle o
f  the
     good  and light Gods  on the one  hand and the offspring  of chaotic
     (the giants, Nature's disturbing forces) on the other, the human-soul
     extremely active. It is involved in a struggle that extends to man's
     innermost being: both the human-soul and the God-soul proceed from th
     Gods; but the body be longs to the world of giants and they struggle
     supremacy. If the human-soul conquers by virtue and courage then it g
     after death to Valhalla, to fight in concert with the Gods against th
     evil powers. If on the other hand the body conquers and links the spi
     to itself by weakness then after man's death the human-soul sinks to
     world of the giants and joins itself with the evil powers in their wa
     against the Gods. Long after his individual identity has been forgott
en a
     man's  human-soul,  absorbed into  the  corporate spirit  of  the reg
     college, village, nation or other group, continues to demonstrate its
     immortality by inspiring future generations to noble deeds - or to ac
ts of

     32. If the God-soul migrates to other living things after death, how
         you square this with, for example, the need to slaughter livestoc
k in
         order to sustain human life? Isn't it rather like killing a God?

         The God-soul must not be confused with the being that it inhabits
     Animals, birds and trees have always been regarded by Odinists with
     respect; it is indeed probable that the domestication of some creatur
     arose from their former sacred character. Every living thing is a
     manifestation of the divine and its spirit is immortal:  every time a
     is felled or an animal slaughtered it is indeed a kind of sacrifice.
     the tree or the animal is only a temporary dwelling-place for the imm
     God. Everything in Nature has a purpose and it is necessary in order
     life may be sustained in others for such "sacrifices" to be made. Suc
h an
     attitude encourages consideration and reverence for Nature and discou
     its wanton despoliation. It is the unnecessary, cruel or unnatural ki
     of animals (or of human beings), the unjustifiable destruction of tre
es or
     landscape and the defiling of natural resources, that is wrong.

     33. You have mentioned "ancestral spirits". Does this mean that Odini
         believe in ancestor-worship?

         The human-souls of one's own family ancestors provide us with  mo
     strength and inspiration. Just as we received our spirit from Odin, s
o we
     received our physical being through our parents and our ancestors fro
     time memorial. Our respect for ancestors maintains the continuity of
     family, the kin and the race. We have a duty to try to attain the ide
     of our ancestors and an equal duty of cherishing our descendants so t
     they in their turn will come to understand and realize our own hopes
     ideals. Life is continuing process:  we must try to visualize ourselv
es as
     ancestors; for ancestors and descendants are genealogically one. Edmu
     Burke once remarked that society was a partnership between those who
     living, those who are dead and those yet to be born; past and present
     future are seen as a continuing evolvement and must be looked upon as
     complete being.


     34. What kind of status do women have within the Odinist community?

             Odinists do  not need  reminding  of women's  rights! Our  re
     anciently held women in high honor:  not only are Goddesses included
in the
     Odinist pantheon, but, when the Odinist priesthood is restored, all o
     will be open to women just as they were before the Christian usurpati
     relegated them to permanent backbenches of religious life.

     35. What are the chief festivals of the Odinic Rite?

         In ancient times there were three great festivals: Yule (the Mid-
     Festival), Summer Finding (or spring equinox) and Winter Finding (aut
     equinox). To these we nowadays add the Midsummer Festival.

             Yule, the popularFestival ofMid-Winter (sometimescalled theFe
     of Light), heralds the beginning of the Odinist year. It is the birth
day of
     the unconquered sun, which at this time begins to new vigor after its
     autumnal decline when, having descended into darkness, it pauses, kin
     the fire of germination and ascends renewed with the fruit of hope. T
     Mid-Winter Festival includes the Twelve Nights of Yule, encapsulating
     twelve months of the year in miniature, and culminates in the celebra
     of Twelfth Night.

         Summer Finding, in March, is the Festival of Odin. It celebrates
     renewal, or resurrection, of Nature after the darkness of winter. It
     transformed by the Christians into their Easter (named after the Odin
     Goddess of the Saxons, Ostara), Rogation and Whitsun and was also rec
     in folk custom by the festivities of May Day.

             The Midsummer Festival, theFeast of Balder, is thegreat celeb
     of the triumph of light and the sun.

         Winter Finding mourns the death of summer and heralds the coming
     autumn. It is dedicated to the god Frey, patron of the harvest, and i
     also sometimes called the Charming of the Fruits of Earth, when we re
     thanks for the years supply of life-giving foods.

     36. What other Odinist festivals are there?

             Besides the great festivalsthere are a number ofsecondary fes
     and also some commemorations of local Gods or various aspects of life

         The secondary festivals of the Odinic Rite are:
         The Charming of the Plough,  January 3
             The festival ofVali, Febuary 14, whichcommemorates the family
     an  occasion for  betrothals,  the renewal  of  marriage vows  and vo
ws  of
             The festival of the Einheriar on November 11, known asHeroes'
     which honors the dead.


     37. What is the Odinist Committee?

         The committee for the Restoration of the Odinic Rite (to give its
     title) was set up on April 23, 1973 with the limited objects of resto
     Odinist ritual and ceremonies, to define Odinist faith and doctrine a
nd to
     constitute a teaching order of gothar (singular: gothi, meaning pries
t of
     teacher). When these immediate objects have been achieved the Committ

     will  disband. In the past not a great deal of attention was paid to
     systemizing the doctrinal aspects of Odinism and consequently the bod
y of
     writing on the subject has remained limited and uneven. The Odinist
     Committee will place the worship of the Aesir on a more formal and
     permanent basis.

     38. How do I go about becoming an Odinist?

             First of all by understanding, thenby believing. You do not h
ave to
     "be born again" but you are  expected to live your whole life  accord
ing to
     the Odinist precepts. There is a ceremony of reception (or initiation
) into
     the Odinist community for those who wish it. The secretary of the Odi
     Committee, 10 Trinity Green, London, E1, will be able to tell you whe
     there is an Odinist group in your neighborhood or, if there is not on
     how you may form one.

     39. Can the Odinist Committee supply me with a list of Odinist temple
         and shall I be permitted to attend some of the inveitan?

             There are at presentno Odinist hofs (temples) in Great Britai
n open
     for public worship. Odinism starts with the individual and extends, t
     the family, to the community and the world. So with worship, which is
     present practiced mostly at family level, the festivals of the Odinis
     year being celebrated in the home, with friends and other Odinist
     sometimes being invited to participate. But it is expected that vario
     regional meeting places will be authorized when eventually the ritual
     Odinist worship has been fully restored and gothar licensed by the
     successor body to the Odinist committee.

                         These things are thought the best:
                                   Fire, the sight of the sun,
                            Good health with the gift to keep it,
                                  And a life that avoids vice.

                                                The High Song of Odin *

     * The verse from The High Song of Odin is from Paul B. Taylor and W H
     Auden's translation of The Elder Edda and is reproduced by permission
     Messrs Faber and Faber. Other quotations from the Eddas in the forego
     pages are from the translation by Rasmus B. Anderson.


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