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Author Topic: Becoming a Norse Pagan without joining Asatru?  (Read 44177 times)
Geroth
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« Topic Start: May 26, 2011, 09:12:05 pm »

Hi all. I've been interested in Paganism for quite a few years now. In particular, I feel a big attraction to the Norse gods and goddesses but know nothing about actually practicing Norse Paganism. Recently, out of interest I went along to a few meetings with different Asatru organizations in my area to see about the possibility of joining their kindred's. I walked away from all of them feeling extremely turned off and disillusioned. I really disliked all their dogma and their "must do this, must do that" and "must believe this, must believe that" attitude, some of the things they said I had to believe in I personally found absolutely ridiculous. Some of the group's political affiliations were also a turn off, one ranging from your typical green leftist hippie group to another being far right, almost Nazi in ideology. The meetings left me so disillusioned that I began to question my attraction to the Norse gods and goddesses and began thinking of ditching it all together.

Is there any other way to worship the Norse gods apart from joining an organized group or set of beliefs like Asatru? What would you recommend I do?
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Juniperberry
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« Reply #1: May 26, 2011, 09:47:25 pm »

Hi all. I've been interested in Paganism for quite a few years now. In particular, I feel a big attraction to the Norse gods and goddesses but know nothing about actually practicing Norse Paganism. Recently, out of interest I went along to a few meetings with different Asatru organizations in my area to see about the possibility of joining their kindred's. I walked away from all of them feeling extremely turned off and disillusioned. I really disliked all their dogma and their "must do this, must do that" and "must believe this, must believe that" attitude, some of the things they said I had to believe in I personally found absolutely ridiculous. Some of the group's political affiliations were also a turn off, one ranging from your typical green leftist hippie group to another being far right, almost Nazi in ideology. The meetings left me so disillusioned that I began to question my attraction to the Norse gods and goddesses and began thinking of ditching it all together.

Is there any other way to worship the Norse gods apart from joining an organized group or set of beliefs like Asatru? What would you recommend I do?

Why don't you go into more detail about specific things that bothered you so that we can give you a different of deeper understanding of how heathenry generally works?
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Geroth
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« Reply #2: May 26, 2011, 10:16:42 pm »

Why don't you go into more detail about specific things that bothered you so that we can give you a different of deeper understanding of how heathenry generally works?

They came across as quite pushy and far too preachy for me. All of them that I went to were in Viking dress ups and having Sword fights. It was as if I had entered a Viking battle re-enactment group, not a religious organization. The whole afterlife thing really turned me off (The 9 Worlds), it's just something I dont personally believe in. One of the guys I talked to took the whole thing literally and tried to force it upon me. Whilst everybody I met were all nice enough, I just found the whole experience a tad strange.
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« Reply #3: May 26, 2011, 10:45:57 pm »

The whole afterlife thing really turned me off (The 9 Worlds), it's just something I dont personally believe in. One of the guys I talked to took the whole thing literally and tried to force it upon me. Whilst everybody I met were all nice enough, I just found the whole experience a tad strange.
Huh

Nine world afterlife?
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 08:14:36 am by SunflowerP, Reason: fixing quote code » Logged
Geroth
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« Reply #4: May 26, 2011, 10:52:35 pm »

Huh

Nine world afterlife?


Yes
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SatAset
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« Reply #5: May 26, 2011, 10:55:35 pm »



Is there any other way to worship the Norse gods apart from joining an organized group or set of beliefs like Asatru? What would you recommend I do?

I'd suggest reading Ravenbok which is here as a general basis of Asatru via another Kindred's POV: http://www.ravenkindred.com/Ravenbok.html.  They seem more "middle road" than the two extremes you have described above.  I'd double check and make sure it isn't those specific people that have turned you off to Asatru instead of Asatru itself.  

Having said that, many people practice Asatru as solitaries either by choice or circumstance.  

Ritual can be simple like toasting a deity and pouring out the libation or as more complex rituals some groups have.  

Here is another website dealing with the Basics of Asatru and gives advice about joining groups too:  http://www.erichshall.com/asanew/newtotru.htm

And there are different forms of Heathenry.  It may just be that Asatru isn't quite the right fit.  I'd also ask the gods Themselves how They want you to worship Them.
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« Reply #6: May 26, 2011, 11:28:12 pm »

I'd suggest reading Ravenbok which is here as a general basis of Asatru via another Kindred's POV: http://www.ravenkindred.com/Ravenbok.html.  They seem more "middle road" than the two extremes you have described above.  I'd double check and make sure it isn't those specific people that have turned you off to Asatru instead of Asatru itself.  

Having said that, many people practice Asatru as solitaries either by choice or circumstance.  

Ritual can be simple like toasting a deity and pouring out the libation or as more complex rituals some groups have.  

Here is another website dealing with the Basics of Asatru and gives advice about joining groups too:  http://www.erichshall.com/asanew/newtotru.htm

And there are different forms of Heathenry.  It may just be that Asatru isn't quite the right fit.  I'd also ask the gods Themselves how They want you to worship Them.

Thanks for that. I am thinking of going as a solitary. The groups in my area are definatley not for me.

What other types of Heathenry are there? How exactly would you ask the gods? Is there a specific way in which you would do it?
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Juniperberry
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« Reply #7: May 27, 2011, 01:15:07 am »


I haven't heard of the nine worlds of the afterlife before, it's a personal interpretation.
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hlewagastir
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« Reply #8: May 27, 2011, 01:21:24 am »

What other types of Heathenry are there?

Well... We have them "reconstructionists" (or "recons" for short), however, consider this a friendly warning: If you have a non-conformity/anti-dogma view on things then do not bring that idea to the recons.

Edit: Actually, reconstructionism is just an approach to the source material. Usually people lable themself "heathen recon" or "asatru recon" (or sometimes just "heathen"... it differs).
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 01:24:23 am by hlewagastir » Logged
MysticRayne
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« Reply #9: May 27, 2011, 01:54:22 am »

Is there any other way to worship the Norse gods apart from joining an organized group or set of beliefs like Asatru?

To put it simply, yes.  Asatru is simply one type of Heathenry.  Other types are Forn Siðr, Odinism, and Theodism, though there are many others. All Asatruars are Heathen but not all Heathens are Asatruars.  You do not need to belong to a kindred, or even be Heathen for that matter, to worship the Norse Gods.  It's also important to note that not all Heathens worship the Norse Gods, some worship the Anglo-Saxon Gods instead for example.  Personally, I am not an Asatruar as my views aren't those of a reconstructionist, but I do identify as a Heathen.
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hlewagastir
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« Reply #10: May 27, 2011, 04:18:46 am »

I am not an Asatruar as my views aren't those of a reconstructionist

I know Asatruar which aren´t even remotely reconstructionistic; IOW, all different brands of North European Heathens have their reconstructionists. Reconstructionism is about how you select, treat, analyse and apply information given in the source materiel. It´s a critical approach to sources, not a religious belief or cultic practice - that´s why reconstructionism exists in every (historical) branch of NE Heathenism.
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Lokabrenna
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« Reply #11: May 27, 2011, 12:02:29 pm »

Is there any other way to worship the Norse gods apart from joining an organized group or set of beliefs like Asatru? What would you recommend I do?

The short answer is yes, and other posters have already given you a longer answer.
I know how you feel. Unfortunately, I think there's a higher tendency to come across highly "dogmatic" types in Heathenry, which is ironic because Heathenry is more of an orthopraxic tradition (ie. not about what you believe, but what you do).

As others have said, there are many ways of being Heathen, Asatru is one way.
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« Reply #12: May 27, 2011, 09:33:13 pm »

The whole afterlife thing really turned me off (The 9 Worlds), it's just something I dont personally believe in.

The Nine Worlds (or Realms) is not the Afterlife. They are nine specific realms, one of which is Midgard, where we dwell. Another you might be familiar with is Asgard, which is the homeworld of the Aesir. There are people who have, for lack of a better word, spirit-journied to several of them, so they are not completely inaccessible (but neither should you try taking off to find them and expect things to go all fun and full of rainbows! There's probably a good reason why we don't live on the same realm as giants). But it is not the Afterlife like the Wiccan summerlands, Christian Heaven/Hell, or things along those lines.

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One of the guys I talked to took the whole thing literally and tried to force it upon me. Whilst everybody I met were all nice enough, I just found the whole experience a tad strange.

It is wrong, imho, to force your world views on others (especially if it was along the lines of "If you want to be an Asatruar, you MUST believe X and Y, but NEVER Z!" Of course there are ideals and concepts that are generally accepted because otherwise the common label of "Asatru" would not make much sense). However, there ARE people, especially within religious communities, that believe there are worlds and realms outside of the ones we can see with our eyes. I'm only mentioning this because I noticed your current religion is listed as "Agnostic". Don't be surprised if you encounter more people like those you met (although hopefully they will be less rude!) who are firm in their belief in things that are "supernatural".
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« Reply #13: May 28, 2011, 01:01:05 am »

It is wrong, imho, to force your world views on others (especially if it was along the lines of "If you want to be an Asatruar, you MUST believe X and Y, but NEVER Z!" Of course there are ideals and concepts that are generally accepted because otherwise the common label of "Asatru" would not make much sense). However, there ARE people, especially within religious communities, that believe there are worlds and realms outside of the ones we can see with our eyes. I'm only mentioning this because I noticed your current religion is listed as "Agnostic". Don't be surprised if you encounter more people like those you met (although hopefully they will be less rude!) who are firm in their belief in things that are "supernatural".

I agree and that exactly why I didn't take it any further. I was kind of shocked at just how preachy they were, some of them reminded me of door to door Jehovah's Witnesses in the way they came across. I thought Pagan religions didn't do those things lol

I consider myself an Agnostic Theist in that I believed in a higher power(s) but did not know what it was or which path to take or how things in the 'afterlife' worked. I am leaning more towards Paganism than anything else and I always felt a strong connection to Heathery. I should probably change that lol.
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Juniperberry
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« Reply #14: May 28, 2011, 03:08:00 am »

I agree and that exactly why I didn't take it any further. I was kind of shocked at just how preachy they were, some of them reminded me of door to door Jehovah's Witnesses in the way they came across. I thought Pagan religions didn't do those things lol

Well, you went to THEIR kindred, right? What did you expect, that they'd welcome you at the door and ask you how you'd like their group to be? They have every right to "preach to you" the customs of their kindred and you have every right to find that compatible with your own beliefs or seek a group elsewhere. But jeez, don't bitch that you were invited into someone's group and then that group had a set way of doing things. You went to their door, you sought them out- so, no, they aren't like Jehovah Witnesses.










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