Odinism vs. Ásatrú (A Clarification)

Dr. Casper Odinson Cröwell, 1519-CCG


There is an erroneous perception going around these days, like a bad flu bug infecting our faith/folk community. In fact, it has been a malady which has beset upon and burdened us for nearly the past thirty years I've been an Odinist. I am, of course, referring to the misconceptionthat Odinism and Ásatrú are one in the same faith/religion. In fact, there are many whom share the common view that there is but one Northern Faith with several names ascribed thereto including, but not limited to: Odinism, Ásatrú, the Troth, the Way, Irminism, Theodism, Norse Wicca, Vanatru, Northern Dawn Revivalists, etc., etc.. Indeed, some of these are very much the same Theology/Philosophy while others are not. Odinism is most certainly not one and the same with any other denomination within the Northern Tradition. If you are one of the many whom believed this to be the instance, it is not your fault. Most have been erroneously taught this by another who was taught this way and another before him/her! Much in the same way we have been taught, or exposed to Christianity by those whom believed it to so, and we in turn believed in them. Be that as it may, it is long overdue to correct this long standing error. No other faith or individual will ever take us seriously if we do not take ourselves seriously and seek to establish a liturgy of our own within the Northern Faith, which sets us apart from all other denominations. This does not render Odinists as elitists, nor should it. What it does do is allow us the space to practice our faith with like minded folk devoid of the cancer of back biting which so commonly exists within the Northern Faith community today! This exists because so many insist that we are all following the same faith with different names all the while, excluding those we don't care for. This leads to a great deal of back biting, which in turn contributes to our faith's arrested development. Acceptance of this reality is the key element required here in order to cease this self defeating nature we exhibit. If ever we would escape the fetters of retarded growth and ascend beyond 'cult' status, then we must face the inexorable facts.

Does Odinism share similarities with Ásatrú and other denominations of the Northern Tradition? The answer is a resounding 'Yes'. But to what degree? To some minor extent, mostly of mythological proportion and equivalency and deities, Odinism shares some basic similarities with all of the afore mentioned denominations within the Northern Tradition. And yes, more so it shares its greatest similarities with Ásatrú, albeit, the two are not the same.

Let us consider the realities predicated upon the facts: The dawn of our race may be traced back some forty-thousand years to date. In all of that time, Allfather Odin, has been either worshiped, prayed to, or honored in one form/name, or another, consistent with the qualities, attributes and archetypal concepts which we to this day can and do attribute to Allfather Odin as the primordial consciousness of the racial lineage otherwise discerned as the Aryan Tribes. All that we may descry in the echoes of nature's laws, including the personae of the other Gods and Goddesses, are manifestations of his divine will and thereafter his conscious thought ‘to be'! And as such, the spark of that divinity resides within each one of us, whether we elect to acknowledge thus, or not.

On the other hand, Ásatrú is a relatively new entity in the history of the Aryan Tribes.Ásatrú is an Old Norse word which translates to "Troth, or loyal to the Æsir (ON Sky Gods)". Rooted in the (probable) century leading up to the era we today know as the Viking Age (Approximately 789 to 1100 Common Era). So too, do many of the Gods/Goddesses have their beginnings in the Scandinavia countries during this era. Along with the Vanir, these deities of the Old Norse Æsir constitute the corpus of the Northern Gods and Goddesses of Ásatrú today. Whether the Aryan Tribes migrated from Asia Minor is a matter of ongoing debate among scholars today. It certainly exceeds the allotted space afforded this essay. I merely raise the issue as it has been posited by scholars that the origin of the very word/name: Æsir, is of Asian origin and as thus, were we able to substantiate such a claim, then we would further thus be able to fix the origin of the Æsirian deities to that locale and the period of the inhabitants thereof as well. Yet, the Æsir came to be known as such in the Scandinavian countries only, in their infancy, and not in the Teutonic countries whose inhabitants (i.e. Germanic Tribes) would have most certainlymade the same migration journeyout of Asia Minor to Europevia the Caucus Mountains. Though, the Æsir as they were/are known, would have been foreign to them beyond Wotan (Odin), Donnar (Thor), Frija (Frigga), Paltar (Baldur) and Tiu (Tyr). They would not have known them to belong to the family of Gods known as the Æsir, or even what the Æsir were. Were this not the case in fact, then Cornelius Tacitus (56 CE -115 CE), when composing his treatise: the Germania, surly would have named, or identified the Æsir, and/or other deities beyond those cited in his chronicle which predates the Viking Age by over six centuries. In fact he does wherefore Nerthus/Erde/Erda/Ertha/Erce, and Isis are concerned, and not more!

The knowledge of Odin as Allfather, or as "Thee" Allfather, predates the knowledge of the Æsir and Vanir within the memory of our race, by millennia.

So then, we whom profess ourselves as avowed Odinists, identify Allfather Odin as the primordial consciousness of creation and the progenitor of the race of people which constitute the Aryan Tribes and their descendants today. Furthermore, with all due respect to Dr. S. Flowers (Edred Thorsson) whom posits within many of his published works that the difference between an Odinist and an Odian, is that the Odinist worships Odin while the Odian seeks to emulate him. This Iseekand denounce as a preposterous employment of semantics in an effort byDr.Flowers to create and employ verbiage created by himself and used by adherents of the esteemed Rune Gild. While I have the utmost respect for both, Dr. Flowers and the Institute which he founded to the dedication of Esoteric Rune Work, I must assert that I have been an Odinist for nearly thirty years and it has been my own experience, as I believe it to be the natural progression, that any and all whom profess themselves to be Odinist, will begin their own journey as I myself did, somewhere near the bottom end of comprehending Odin, initially via the vehicle of worship and then evolving through the self transformation on a continuum until one ascends to the place where one gives one self to one self and thereafter seeks to honor Odin by emulating him and his own holy quest for wisdom. Anyone who would lay claim to just instantly and fully comprehending the divine consciousness that is Odin, from the beginning of their journey, is either severely confused, or suffering the delusions of some grand illusion! One thing is for certain, no such person truly knows Odin!!!

In concert with our theology, nothing else would be possible without Odin first, all else follows thereafter. And as thus, Odin warrants our supreme respect and honor as we ourselves seek to emulate his own quest for Ascension via the vehicle of self transformation on a continuum. Do we still honor the Æsir and the Vanir? Absolutely! They too are our beloved Gods/Goddesses as well as our ancestors and friends. Albeit, they would not "be", anymore than we would "be", save for Allfather Odin`s desire and will thereafter.

I know of no Ásatrúar who perceives walking the road North in the same manner. For them, ALL Gods within the Northern pantheon are equal, non greater than the other. And there is nothing wrong with that at all. It's just not who we are, or the way we do it. Even more, I am a fundamentalist Odinist, as all of the members of the SONS OF ODIN, 1519 -VINLAND and the overwhelming majority of the HOLY NATION OF ODIN. That is to say, we live, eat and breath our beloved faith in Allfather Odin, to the extreme wherefore troth/loyalty is in regard. The mantle of zealot quickly comes to mind, and for me -rightly so.

That this issue has up till now, not been addressed within our faith/folk community only further solidifies the sad evidence that we incur too much unacceptable squabbling and fail to enjoy the solidarity we so desperately need to survive, let alone, progress. Too many get and remain confused by the myriad of differences within what they were led to believe was all one faith with only one denomination. Hence the origin of so many lingering confusions wherefore learning about a Northern Path is in regards.

We of the HOLY NATION OF ODIN, Inc., are seeking to remedy this ailment which has required correction for way too long now. By removing some of that confusion and replacing it with some sound understanding, we hope to achieve just that. Because the past should be a guidepost, not a hitching post. And the road North in the 21st century and beyond should not be fraught with confusion wherein one's source of solace and stability is in regard. It should be illuminating in addition to being a source of righteous might!

Providing a sound vehicle, to attain such a state of genuine spirituality and strength is what Odinism is all about!!! And that is exactly what the HOLY NATION OF ODIN, Inc. seeks to provide our members with.

Ves Heil, all.

I remain in Frith with and in service to thee. Heil Allfather Odin!

"That which is open to all, is respected by none." -The Honorable Drighten, Stephen McNallen