Modern Heathenry and the Northern Tradition

Dr. Casper Odinson Cröwell, 1519-CCG

Allsherjargothi, HOLY NATION OF ODIN, INC.

Merriam-Webster defines a heathen as: 1. an unconverted member of a people or nation that does not acknowledge the God of the Bible. Thes: Pre-monotheistic. Syn: Pagan, pantheistic. Ant: monotheistic.

As we find ourselves moving toward the latter part of the first decade in the twenty-first century, Heathenism/Paganism is well on its way to re-ing itself in the mainstream communities of post modern society. Gone are the days of yore in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when the only places we thrived were in the wishful hearts and minds of the cultnics and the new age, / head shops which they frequented. Indeed, today, true to the evolution-religions have ascended beyond the “One-size fits all” box our holy faiths once fit so neatly into!

When fine folks like the late Else Christiansen, (my own mentor and many others as well) and Steve McNallen of the Asatrü Folk Assembly began to sound the Gjallarhorn and alert our folk to the great Re-awakening (as it has since come to be called) in those early days of the 1970’s, those whom adhered to what we call today; “Asatrü”, merely set about referring to our faith as the “Northern Tradition”, as it hails from the North of Europe and the folk which inhabited the regions of North and Western Europe. But, the Northern Tradition, as it were, is not the same generic spiritual philosophy á la Viking influence today that it was some thirty plus years ago. In fact, quite the contrary!

While some in our Faith and Folk community would disagree, albeit without merit, nor validity, there are several denominations of our faith within the Northern Tradition. Though, since we are a faith absent a centralized system, most adopt the local flavor and customs of the Temple, Hof, Church, Kindred, Garth, Individual, etc., from which they were introduced to our faith and as the years progress and they with our faith over those years, folk will come to stubbornly believe that the names, words, teachings, pronunciations, etc., are the only correct one associated with our faith. In fact, outside of the obvious common denominators, e.g. our Gods and Goddesses, Sagas, Myths and shared heritage, folk whom have followed our ancient ways with our Kindred would most likely find man foreign elements to what another Kindred calls the same faith. And there is a simple answer for why that is - Different denominations. That’s right Folks. So many folk believe that Odinism/Wotanism and Asatrú are one in the same, though Kinsman ‘One’ may not easily descry what Kinsman ‘Two’ is calling the same spiritual path. I’ve been an Odinist/Wotanist for twenty-eight years now, and folks, I’ve got to tell you that Odinison/Wotanism and Asatrú is Not the same path! Not at all! Odinism/Wotanism is a path within the greater path of Asatrú. While the latter literally means to be “True to the ?sir, or Old Gods” (Which also includes the Vanir today), its adherents seek to embrace and honor equally, all of the Gods of the ?sir and Vanir. While adherents of the former seek to honor and embrace the All-Father Odin first and foremost and then the Gods of the ?sir and Vanir thereafter. While all are honored, Odin rules the roost where the Odinist/Wotanist is concerned. Odinist/Wotanists will subject themselves to strict regimens of physical and psychological ordeals, rites and self disciplinary practices. They tend to be very structured and some would even say, fanatical at times. They forfeit their voices with vows of silence which have lasted over a month at a time and fasted up to nine days at a time. There are Vanatrúar whom are devoted to the Vanir (Earth Gods). Theods, which subscribe to an Anglo-Saxton variation, Irminists, whom subscribe to a German variation. There are Thorists, Tyrists, and Freyans all devoted to their respective deities, and there are lesser known denominations. And while it is of course, an excellent opportunity to reach out and serve a wider range of our folk in concert with the evolutionary nature of our Norse-Teutonic Heathen religious community, it should not be a source of consternation and division within our Faith/Folk community! But the reality is, that is what occurs. Certain denominations assume an elitist attitude and thereafter disregard the significance and import all others as if they matter little, if at all. Have we learned nothing at all form the monotheistic religions with their bitter divisions and “un” – Holy wars?

We must strive for “Pan-Folkism and Pan Heathenism” unity and solidarity within our faith/folk community. We must seek to edify each other, not belittle, lest we fall prey to the new wave of Christian fundamentalists and their unjust attacks on Heathenism/Paganism. A folk and its faith will thrive and advance only as long as their actions remain conducive and beneficial to all members of said community whom endeavor to affect a healthy and positive attitude towards those ends of a united faith/folk community.

Let the posers and pretenders dissent into the ranks of Loki until they sever the bonds which tie them to us. It is, after all, the teaching of Heimdall that the unworthy always exclude themselves. Let the rest of us bestow honor upon our sacred Gods, ancestors and descendants yet unborn… Let us bring honor to ourselves by edifying one another and uniting our faith/folk community. Choose to say “Yes” to pan-folkism within our faith/folk community.

The Sons of Odin, 1519 – Vinland Kindred will neither condone, nor contribute to any of the chaos, or bigotry towards other good folk, or denominations within our own community. We must hold ourselves to a higher standard that those whom have gone before us. We must hold ourselves accountable to our Noble virtues and edicts of honor for without that we truly have naught!

Individual dignity begins with an individual’s accountability for his/her actions, or lack thereof. When we espouse such an attitude as individuals our faith/folk community advances collectively and therein lies not only the dignity of folk and faith, albeit the very majesty some of our later ancestors either once forfeited, or outright had taken away form them by the Church in Rome! Point Blank!!!

Let us “All” cease playing the ‘Pass the Blame’ games with our folk, especially due to the differences in the way we each approach practicing our sacred Northern Tradition. Let us edify each other and celebrate the different denominations within our faith/folk community. Let us protect and advance what we hold sacred today, as our fathers’ fathers did before us and we too shall afford our descendants the same opportunity to do so. Just like our folk wrote about over thirty years ago, when they spoke so lovingly about our future generations and their right to inherit our faith and our duty to protect and defend them.

Seldom does any living entity retain its core simplicity as it evolves, and our faith is no exception to that rule. Our faith/folk community assumes the same, erroneous and self serving burdens which the monotheistic religious communities have suffered from over the past two millenniums. It’s quite the contrary. We have it at our collective disposal to employ the lessons of the past and apply them to our own concerns today as the circumstances present themselves.

And, we must take heed to and apply the lessons and examples of Asa-Tyr if we are to achieve a comfortable success in the future. We’ve all seen success claim many casualties. This needn’t’ be the instance at all. Evolution is all about transformations and forward progress, as is it undisputedly the truest way of All-Father Odin. Asa-Tyr inserted his hand in the gaping jaws of the vicious Fenris wolf so that he could be bound. Knowing all too well the price he’d have to pay. He had accepted the voluntary loss of his hand in a noble effort to protect and advance both the Gods in Asgard and our folk on Midgard. Now then, who among our leaders will act in a valiant way, like a God! And, do the right thing and honorable thing for the good of us all? I will and I implore all others to do the same, lest we suffer the wolf’s voracious appetite on the morrow’s tide. For tomorrow is too late. We must act now, today with haste to heal our community and we must achieve this victory in spirit of protecting and advancing Family, Faith and Folk.

Hail the holy Æsir and Vanir… Hail All-Father Odin!!!

(Perform Tyr Blót and reflect upon duty and service to faith and folk.)

Runes for meditation are: .

I remain in service to the the Gods and folk of the Holy Nation of Odin.

“Be naught a today without a tomorrow on the horizon, lest you perish as yesterday’s forgotten Kin..” -- Casper Odinson Cröwell, Ph.D.