Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Folkish and Universalist Asatru

Hail Everyone! A very special welcome to my new Followers!

I decided today to write a blog about one of the most sensitive issues that I have discovered during my explorations in Norse Paganism: Universalism and Folkish Asatru. To tackle this issue, each paragraph will be dedicated to exploring one type of Asatru. I hope you find this enjoyable and educational.

Folkish Asatru is defined as those who believe that to be Asatru you must share a genetic, ancestral link to the Gods of the North. These groups often exclude various other groups of people, and are accused [understandably] of racism and homophobia (which I will be exploring in my next blog post). Major groups that exhibit this type of thinking include the Asatru Folk Assembly and the Asatru Alliance here in the United States. Most Folkish Heathens take issue with Wicca, and with those who worship deities of cultures they share no relation to. Often, we see Folkish Asatru/Odinism characterized by those who were incarcerated, and in those who are also related to White Supremacy. Let me clarify- I believe these are certainly on the fringe of the community, and thus should not be used to color the entire community. Folkish thought is certainly not without merit, albeit a little extreme. They are working to instil pride in their ancestors and ancestry, something that I believe is extremely important- to be proud of where you came from is to truly be proud of yourself. I also believe that they create exceedingly close, almost family style connections inside of their Kindreds, because of the attitudes that they exhibit.

Universalist Asatru is characterized by a policy of [sometimes total] acceptence of those who wish to practice the ways of the Northern Tradition. Groups of this nature believe that any who feel the call of the Aesir can worship them. The most influential Universalist Asatru group is certainly The Troth, created after a rift formed which destroyed the Asatru Free Assembly. Universalist groups are generally accepting of homosexuals and those of different race. They are working to create a larger community, and are working in many ways for a more widespread revival of the Northern Traditions.

Where do I fit in? I most certainly would be counted among Universalists. Although I have primarily Germanic and Anglo-Saxon heritage, I also have Native American roots. I do not agree that spirituality can/should be constrained by your blood- we are all more than the sum of our parts.Especially here in America, there is hardly one person who is of 100% pure ancestry, so we should also reflect that in our spiritual lives. I do find something interesting about worshipping the Gods that my ancestors most assuredly worshipped, and I think that finding Norse Paganism has helped me develop a stronger connection to my ancestors. However, I maintained a long and fruitful relationship with the Hellenic deities, to whom I have no lineage.

While this blog has not lived up to what I wanted it to be, I certainly hope it has helped you all understand these two schools of thought, and also helped you examine your feelings on this issue. I will be writing 2 more blogs soon, excluding the Esbat in September written about Sif. I hope you are truly enjoying these posts!

Until next time,


  1. As far as I'm concerned universalist Heathenism is not and cannot be a form of Heathenism. The reason for this is that unlike Christianity, it grew organically from people of Germanic heritage and was never supposed to be practised by anyone else. They never attempted to spread it to alien peoples and other foreign cultures.

    I'd also like to add that it also isn't a matter of how pure you are, what matters is that your physical characteristics and traits are predominantly northern European.

    What would be the point of trying to preserve a unique faith and culture, if you don't do anything to preserve the blood of the ancestors who created the culture in the first place?

  2. I am a folkish heathen,however who am I to tell someone they can't worship Odin? I am not that guy,but in the confines of my own heathen communities,kindreds,and groups,we do not accept those of non Germanic blood.