Introduction to the Rituals of Asatru
Good Seasons and Peace
Extract from Snorre, Heimskringla, or The Lives of the Norse Kings--Ynglinga Saga, translated by Erling Monsen; Dover Publications, Inc.: New York; ISBN 0-486-26366-5.
So Frey took the rule after Niord; he was called Drott (or sovereign) of the Swedes and took scot from them; he had many friends and brought good seasons like his father. Frey build near Upsala a great temple, and set there his chief seat, and endowed it with all his income from land and chattels. That was the beginning of the Upsala Crown property which has lasted ever since. In his days began the peace of Frode; then there wals also a good season over all the land. the Swedes gave Frey credit for it, and he therefore was much more worshipped than the other gods, as the land folk in his days became richer on account of peace and good seasons than ever before. Gerd, the daughter of Gymir, was the name of Frey's wife, and their son was called Fjölnir. Frey was known by a second name, Yngvi; that name was used long after in his race as a name of great worth, and his kinsmen were afterwards called Ynglings. Frey then fell sick, and as he neared death, his men took counsel, and let few men come to him; and they built a great howe with a door and three holes in it. And when Frey was dead they bore him in loneliness to the howe, and told the Swedes that he was still alive; they watched him then for three years, and all scot they hid down the howe, in one hole the gold, in another the silver, and in the third copper pennies. The good seasons and peace continued.
When all the Swedes marked that Frey was dead, but that good seasons and peace still continued, they believed it would be so, so long as Frey was in Sweden; therefore, they would not burn him, but called him god of the earth, and ever after sacrificed to him, most of all for good seasons and peace.
Fjölnir, Yngvi-Frey's son, next ruled over the Swedes and the Wealth of Upsala; he was mighty and brought good seasons and peace.
Four Bedposts of Asatru, Dirk Mahling, Medoburg Kindred
In addition we have quite a bit of gravy: runes, seidh, galdor, spae, lower mythology, holy steads, utisetta, tradition, family, tools, symbols, music, art, education, etc.
- Asatru is the dedication to (and only to) the Aesir and Vanir: Wotan, Donar, Woldur, FroIng, and friends. These gods are not a jealous lot, but Ganesh is by no stretch of imagination an Aesir. The nature of these gods (entity, archetype, etc.) is an ongoing discussion.
- Asatru is the blot and sumbel on the greatest holydays (Yul, Ostara, Midsummer) to honor the Aesir and Vanir, heroes and ancestors. Other holidays exist (Walpurgis, Lammas, Harvest, Einherjar).
- Asatru is the daily life of courage based on the thews of our ancestors - ie, to take responsibility for our own deeds, to act true and honest, to be self-reliant and step in for freedom. Such a life creates good orlog. Asatru is DOING - not thinking and talking.
- Asatru is a revitalized religion. A synthesis of literary/mythological sources of all germanic folk (and the mix-ins from their germanicized neighbors), contributions from scientific research (linguistics, history, anthropology, archeology, etc.) and deep personal insights. Asatru is a house with 4 rooms (scandic, gothic, anglo-saxon and southern). Regardless of our room, the street-address must be right.
Basic Elements of a Public Blot
- Mark the beginning.
- Hallow the space.
- Set the stage.
- Invitation (to the gods)
- Share drink.
- Give the gift to the gods.
- Mark the closing.
Short List of Asatru References
- The Prose Edda of Snorri Sturlusson, trans. Jean I. Young
- The Poetic Edda, trans. Lee M. Hollander
- The Norse Myths, Kevin Crossley-Holland. This combines the information from the lays and sagas into very clear stories, with good notes.
- Gods and Myths of Northern Europe and Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe, H.R.E. Davidson. HRED is the best single author on the subject. Anything she has written would be an excellent resource--these two are just good to start with.
- Teutonic Religion, Kveldulf Gundarsson. Good resource, but be aware that his ritual scripts are just his own; most of us are much less operatic.
- Northern Magic, Edred Thorsson. Clear introduction to the religion and traditional magic. If you use his other books, you must keep in mind that his background is in Ceremonial Magic and Temple of Set, and that colors his view of Asatru.
Land of Confusion. Home page of Manny Olds. Has more information on all the topics covered in the workshop.
- <http://www.netusa.net/~jmr/troth.html> Ring of Troth. Among other things, includes Our Troth, an online book on the gods and practices.
- <http://www.webcom.com/~lstead> Raven Online. Includes Ravenbok, another online book on the gods and practices.
- <http://www.eskimo.com/~valkyrie> Irminsul Aettir. Includes a database of local contacts.
To contact us
Joe Mandato, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Manny Olds, <email@example.com>, P.O. Box 75476, Washington, DC 20013-0476
Ann Groa Sheffield and Dirk Mahling, Medoburg Kindred, c/o Ann Sheffield, P.O. Box 30, Meadville, PA 16335