Article author: Christina.F, Asatro News / Published: 19th day of Ærra Yēola 2264.RE / 19th day of December (known as before (Ærra) Yuletide (Yēola)' Month in Anglo-Saxon/Olde English) 2014
Re-Discovering Asatru: Re-Discovering our folk Wisdom
The personal account of a volunteer writer: Christina's awakening to Asatro, our ancestral spirituality:
I have studied many religions and even practiced a few, but they all never felt right. Till one day I happened upon Asatru. I Have always felt intrigued by the concept of our ancestral Runic futhorc and futharks, by studying them, learning them and writing with them and ultimately using them as an avenue through which one can appreciate the depth of sophistication of Asatro as a spiritual and philosophical system.
So I suppose you could say they were that first stepping stone in the journey. They were what always stuck when all else fell short. I'm not saying all the other beliefs don’t exist. I have just always felt that whatever you believe in is what will be true from your perspective and Asatru is more than this subjectivity, which is what gives Asatru credibility, for it is routed in our Germanic ancestral history, lore and is our ancient cultural folk spirit tradition. Asatru is also consistent with Scientific understandings of the universe. Asatru also acts as a practical life guidance philosophy, as is self evident from reading the Havamal.
The mind is a powerful thing and with strong enough beliefs anything is possible.
We are each drawn to something, sometimes people don't always see it. I started my study of Asatru about a year ago and I already feel like I’m home.
It calms the mind when I dive into reading the Edda’s and when I write out sayings from the Havamal (Sayings of the High One) as well as other books. It helps to understand it more when it's not only read but written as well, as with when we write in our ancestral runic futhorc.
One will discover there are not many singular, difinitive books one can easily put their hands on, the majority of our ancestral lore is separated into singular texts, Sagas and historical sources, so what I can learn on my own will be limited only by my ability to re-discover our ancestral spirituality through sheer willpower and a pursuit of the knowledge encoded in these remaining sources.
Crucial to re-discovering Asatru is learning to identify yourself as spiritually Germanic, an Asatruar, through your own individual perception of oneself and your actions through the self-improving act of seeking more knowledge about what Asatru is in relation to yourself.
The more I understand Asatru the more I want to learn and get involved, it is a spiral of self-improvement and the pursuit of deeper, more spiritual understanding and simultaneously a living religion through the practical daily invokation of our ancestral Gods and Goddesses and the principels and lore inspired by our folk's perception of them.
It is my hope one day to meet other people who can help me to learn more and can help me get more involved in Asatru.
I have come to understand there are those who believe you have to be Germanic to be Asatru and those that illogically believe the opposite, oftentimes with an intenion of undermining us true Asatru folk who hold a love for our folk at the core of Asatru, as our ancestral lore evidently makes undeniably clear is the most important underlying principle throughout our lore: folk loyalty, defending our people against threats.
I like to believe that in fact my ancestors stem from the mighty Nordic Viking folk, from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and England. My mother's family has deep ancestral roots from Newfoundland in Canada and it is an established historical fact that I’ve read, that some Vikings did migrate there, in addition to Greenland, our ancestors called North America and Canada Vinland.
Although I haven’t been able to trace my individual family tree yet. Either way it is not important for me to have to know the exact specifics of my ancestry practice and learn Asatru, only that my collective folk ancestors created the spirituality we now call Asatru through being the Germanic folk to whom Asatru belongs as a spiritual inheritance.
It is important however, to know who your ancient folk ancestors are in order to honour them through safeguarding our descendants, this is especially important to me as a mother and to many hundreds of thousands of other Asatru folk individuals and the tens of thousands of Asatruar families and parents.
This is the foundational spiritually enshrined genetic motivational essence that proves Asatru has the capacity and potential to makes us strong as a group of individual Asatru folk.
Hugin represents my informed life's thought,
many memories from Munin I have courageously sought.
When overwhelmed amongst the winds of destiny I hide,
In Odin’s words of knowledge and wisdom I found my destined guide.
Runes given to my folk by Odin I have cast,
the auspicious answers, sophisticated and vast.
Even when swept upon unforseen roads through life's challenges I roam,
I never fear, for with my heart inspired through Asatru I’m eternally at home.
A Selection of inspiration from the Hávamál: Sayings of the High One
(Havamal refers to the words of Har, one of the names used by Odin, the allfather of our ancestral pantheon)
- 10. A man bears no better burden on the wilderness ways than great wisdom. It will prove better than wealth in an unknown homestead.
- 15. Silent and attentive, and battle bold should a chieftain’s son be. A man should be glad and happy until defeated by death
- 16. The unwise man thinks he will live forever by avoiding battle But old age will give him no rest though he be spared from spears.
- 18. He alone knows, who has wandered widely and has fared over the fells what mind stirs in each man if he himself has wits.
- 23. The stupid man lies awake all night and thinks about everything and is tired in the morning though all is as it was.
- 29. He who never shuts up blathers powerless staves. The speedy tongue that never stops often brings itself harm.
- 31. He is wise who leaves the flyting when guest mocks guest. He who grins at the feast does not know that he chatters among foes.
- 34. It is a long way to the false friend though he dwell by the road. But a straight way lies to the good friend, though he lives far away.
- 38. A man should not step one foot forth in the field without weapons. One cannot know, when on the road, when he will need his spear.
- 42. A man shall ever be a friend to his friends and give gift for gift, laughter for laughter, but give lies for lies.
- 43. A man shall always be a friend to friends and to the friend of a friend but never a friend to a friend’s enemies.
- 44. If you know that you have a friend and that he is true, and that you will get good from him, share your mind with him, exchange gifts, and visit him often.
- 45. If you know another and trust him not and you want to get good from him speak fair to him while thinking falsely and give him lies for lies.
- 48. He who gives gladly lives the best life, and seldom has sorrow. But the unwise suspect all and always pine for gifts.
- 53. A small lake has a little sand. The minds of men are small and not all men are equally wise. No man is whole.
- 54. Middle wise should each man be and not over wise. The fairest life is had by the one who knows many things well.
- 59. He should rise early who has few workers to see to his work himself. He loses much who sleeps in the morning. Half of wealth is gotten by initiative.
- 71. A halt man can ride a horse. The handless can be herdsmen. The deaf can fight bravely, a blind man is better than a burned man, and a dead man is of no use.
- 75. He who knows nothing does not know that many men become apes. One man is rich and another poor. There is no blame in that.
- 76. Cattle die, kinsmen die, and you yourself shall die. But fair fame never dies for the one who wins it.
- 77. Cattle die and kinsmen die and you yourself shall die. But I know one that never dies that is the doom of each one dead.
- 79. The unwise man only grows arrogant when he wins himself wealth or a woman’s love. His wisdom never increases, only his pride.
- 93. No man should ever ridicule another’s love. The lure of a beautiful woman often snares the wise while leaving the fool.
- 103. Glad in his household and cheerful with guests and wise let a man be. He should be thoughtful and eloquent if he wants to be learned in lore and praised as such. The man who has little to say is deemed an idiot. That is the lot of fools.
- 117. I give you rede Loddfafnir, heed it well! You will use it if you learn it, it will get you good if you understand it. Never tell your hardships to foemen, for you will never get a reward for your good wishes from evil men.
- 125. I give you rede Loddfafnir, heed it well! You will use it, if you learn it, it will do you good if you understand it. Bandy not three words with a lesser man. Often the better man fails when the worse gets hostile.
- 127. I give you rede Loddfafnir, heed it well! You will use it, if you learn it, it will get you good if you understand it. If you know that someone is evil, say so. Never give friendship to your enemies.
- 130. I give you rede Loddfafnir, heed it well! You will use it, if you learn it, and it will do you good if you understand it. If you want a good woman, speak pleasure runes to her, Pledge your troth and hold fast to it if you want joy from her. None loathes good if she gets it.
- 138. I know that I hung, on a wind swept tree for all of nine nights, wounded by spear, and given to Odin, myself to myself, on that tree of which no man knows from what root it rises.
- 164. Now are Har’s sayings said, in Har’s hall needful for the sons of men unneeded by ettins’ sons. Hail the one who speaks them, hail the one who knows them useful to he who gets them hail they who heed them