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Asatru, which means belief in the gods, or true to the asa (loyal to the gods) in Old Norse, the language of ancient Scandinavia.Asatru is thousands of years old. It's beginnings are lost in prehistory, but as an organized system, it is older by far than Christianity. Strictly speaking, since Asatru is the religion which springs from the specific spiritual beliefs of the Northern Europeans, it is as old as this branch of the human race, which came into being some odd 40,000 years ago. The main focus of the revival of this belief is to bring back to life the stories of the Nordic gods. In ancient times due to trade laws the Icelandic communities were forced to become a Christian nation and in doing this they lost a great deal of their stories and practices. Most these stories and sagas are in bad disrepair with many pages missing as such, the greatest find and accomplishment has been the Poetic Eddas that are a series of Poems regarding the different gods and goddesses and different myths surrounding the Nordic pantheon.

Background Info

The Asa are the Gods known as the Aesir and the Vanir. Most of them are familiar, in name at least, to many of us: Odin, Thor, Loki, Tyr, Baldur, Heimdall, Frigga, Freya, Freyr, and others. The Aesir are primarily warrior gods, and generally counted as higher than the Vanir. The Vanir are mostly fertility gods and gods of riches, though they also fight. At one time the two races of gods warred against each other. Finally a truce was held and peace was established, between the gods. There are 9 worlds according to this belief system, Asgard (home of the Aesir), Muspelheim (a place of fire), Vanaheim (home of the Vanir), Midgard (the earthly realm), Svartelfheim (home of the dwarves), Alfheim (home of the elves and of Frey), Jotunheim (home of the giants), Hel (the world of the dead) and Nifelheim (a place of ice). These worlds are all connected by the "World Tree" known as Yggdrassil, and can be reached by climbing the roots, branches and trunk of the tree. Some of these worlds are also connected via bridges

Simple Beliefs

Asatru believes that each person is dependant on others and that only by working together can people truly live in harmony. That is to say that each person through their skills works together for the good of the community. For instance, one may be a teacher of children, another may bake bread for them all to eat while someone else tends to the wheat needed to produce the bread etc. Not only do they look to the gods and goddesses but they also look to the land spirits, the Landvaettir, that dwell in all things, eg rocks, trees, water etc. They also hold fast to the belief in honoring their ancestors and believe that some of their ancestors walk among them protecting them and that some are reborn to live among them. They also hold fast to a belief that the ultimate goal in this life is to lead a worthwhile and purposeful life. They follow nine noble virtues; Courage, Truth, Honor, Fidelity, Discipline, Hospitality, Industriousness, Self-Reliance, and Perseverance. They follow these nine noble virtues as a belief they hold is that they are decendants from the great gods and they strive daily to uphold the virtues so that they may be worthy of there decent. They also believe in the need for kinship and seek this out within their families or within their own groups known as kindreds.

Blots (festivals)

An Asatru religious ceremony is called a Blot (meaning a blessing.) Eight major Blots are celebrated by Asatruers each year. The usual practice with these Blots is to hold them on the weekend closest to the actual date. Disfest (Disablot) 31 January Ostara (Ostara) 21 March, May Eve (Valpurgis) 30 April, Midsummer (Midsumarsblot) 21 June, Freysfest (Freysblot) 31 July, Fallfest (Haustblot) 23 Sep, Winter Night (Vetrnaetr) 31 October and Yule (Jol) 21 December. They also hold other Blots for special occasions, such as weddings, birth and Feast of Vali which is on the 14th February. There is also a formalized toasting ceremony called the Sumbel which is held whenever they wish to hold one.

Poetic Eddas

Two collections of Old Norse writings which form together the most authoritative source for Norse mythology. The oldest is the Elder, or Poetic, Edda. It is a collection of 34 Icelandic poems, interspersed with prose dating from the 9th to 12th century. Most of these poems deal with Norse mythology.  The Poetic Edda is followed by the Younger, or Prose, Edda. It is the work of the Icelandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson (1179 - 1241) who probably intended it to be a handbook for novice poets who wished to become skalds, creators of the sophisticated poetry recited in court. This work contains the creation of the world, various mythological stories, as well as an analysis of ancient poets and rules governing prosody. (please note I have heard that it is also labeled as thus, and sometimes it is almost impossible to find out which one is correct so I will show you what both my sources say rather than just one or the other....In 1643, Brynjolfur Sveinsson, Bishop of Skalholt, discovered a manuscript, clearly written as early as 1300, containing twenty-nine poems, complete or fragmentary, and some of them with the very lines and stanzas used in the later Prose Edda. Great was the joy of the scholars, for here, of course, must be at least a part of the long-sought Edda of Saemund the Wise. Thus the good bishop promptly labelled his find, and as Saemund's Edda, the Elder Edda or the Poetic Edda it has been known to this day.  This precious manuscript, now in the Royal Library in Copenhagen, and known as the Codex Regius, has been the basis for all published editions of the Eddic poems. The Volundarkvitha (which is the poem, that refers to weland) forms one badly damaged chapter of this ancient manuscript. Like the Welsh Mabinogion, it was clearly the work of an early medieval narrator setting down oral traditions of a much earlier, pagan age. )

Please note that this is a extremely basic overview about the Asatru beliefs and ideas.



Seior was the magic practiced by the Vanir side of the Nordic pantheon, it was brought to them by the goddess Freyja who was a practicing Seior. It is said that it was she who had taught this strange art to Odin. When seiding Odin could see into the future and affect people with disease, lunacy, misfortune and death. It seems as if he changed his sex when seiding. Seid is much like the Shamanic beliefs in that the Seidwoman would fall into a trance and other women would evoke her guardian spirit to come to her aid. In her inspired state the spirits would inform her concerning the things she had been asked to ask; about what the weather was going to be, about events that would occur, about happiness and misfortune for man, etc. It also happened that her soul travelled to other worlds to fetch knowledge while the body lay lifeless.

Most ragard it as a feminine path which it never was intended to be, mainly as both the gods and goddesses who formed the Vanir practiced this ancient form of magic although yes more women practice this art that men do and men that practice Senior are often looked upon with suspicion. In the larger community it is estimated that 95% of people that practice this brand of magic are females and the 5% of males that practice it are mostly gay men (please note though that there is no reason why a straight man can not take part and follow the beliefs of Senior at all it is merely an observation and known fact about the belief and there is no reason why it is like this either).

Some of the practices that Seior Witches use are, herbalisim, massage, reading tea leaves, divination that are termed as instinctive rather than organized (such as looking into a flame or a crystal ball etc rather than consulting Runes and tarot cards that have an organized way to do them etc). The Wise ones/ ones at a high level also manage to contact the spirit realm and converse freely one to one with the gods and bring back messages from the gods that they talk to.

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