Germanic pagans in England do tend to use those words interchangeably. In the United States, though, the name "Odinism" is generally avoided. At worst, people associate it with specific racist organizations; at best, they think the name is misleading. Not everyone considers Odin the most important deity or feels specially dedicated to him.
Is Asatru and offshoot of Wicca as they claim?
Asatru is definitely not an offshoot of any modern religion. It is not a "branch" of Wicca, despite what some Wiccans claim. Both religions may be pagan, and some Wiccans do use Nordic god-names and imagery. However, Asatru differs strongly from Wicca in other ways--our rituals, our theology, and our ethics sometimes clash with theirs.
Does Asatru preach it is the only true religion?
We believe everyone has the right to choose their own religion. We do not actively seek out Christians and try to convert them.
People are attracted to the better-known religions because they have genuine spiritual needs which must be filled. People are looking for community, fellowship, and answers to the "big questions": the purpose of life, how we should live it, and what happens after death. For many people today, the so-called major faiths do not have answers that work. Asatru has answers, but most seekers haven't known about it. Once they realize that there is another way - a better, more natural, more honorable way - they will not be satisfied with anything less than a return to the religion of their ancestors.
Because we are more like our ancestors than we are like anyone else, we feel that Asatru is the right religion for us. We inherited not only their general physical appearance, but also their predominant mental, emotional, and spiritual traits. We think and feel more like they did; our basic needs are most like theirs. The religion which best expressed their innermost nature - Asatru - is better suited to us than is some other creed which started in the Middle East among people who are essentially different from us. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are alien religions which do not truly speak to our souls.
How is a Kindred made up? Are there priests?
Asatru is non-authoritarian and decentralized, expressing our love of freedom. While we do have definite tenets, we have little dogma. There is no all-powerful spiritual leader whose word is law; no "pope" of Asatru to dictate truth. No guru or priest has the one-and-only direct line to the Gods. The Gods live in you!
Those who lead the rites are the Godi who is like a priest, and the Godia who is like a priestess.
How do I find others involved in the religion?
There are many resources available today in which you can find others. Check out our links page, the Irminsul Aettir has an excellent contact map.
Where can I find merchants for Asatru art and jewelry, spell kits, or clothing?
Some excellent merchants are:
Tara Hill Designs
Pandora’s Occult Shop
The Mystic Caravan
What are some good books on Asatru?
Check out: www.irminsul.org/mr/mrbook.html