Nordic traditions: Odinism, Asatru, Vanatru

Odinism is a revival of the pre-Christian Pagan traditions of Northern Europe. These traditions have different forms, but they all include a focus on the Aesir and/or the Vanir. The Nordic traditions both use the Norse and Anglo-Saxon Mythology, from various sources, including Iceland, as inspiration.

The Aesir, as they are described in Scandinavian myths, are sky gods. Odin, often seen as the Supreme God or All-Father principle, his wife Frigga, Thor, Tyr and Balder, the best known. The Vanir are Gods of the Earth, agriculture and fertility. The best known are Frey and Freya.

Pagans following the Northern tradition often worship both the Vanir and the Aesir. The term is sometimes preferred over Odinism Asatru – Asatru means “true to the Aesir ‘- and this term is actually better because not all worship the God Odin.

The modern Nordic Tradition is rapidly evolving and explores the mythologies of Northern Europe and the mysteries of the runes. It is a way of life embracing values of loyalty, honor, courage and good fellowship. It emphasizes contact with the Divine besides practicing magic for healing and spiritual development. Followers of Asatru celebrate seasonal festivals and are deeply concerned with environmental issues.

In the past, the role of women in Asatru was but moderately developed. That’s not surprising, given the strong influence of Odin. This masculine institution is now being remedied by the work of a number of women who find their inspiration from the Goddesses of Northern mythology and the role of women in the old Norwegian community. The work of Freya Aswynn in particularly is very valuable, and clearly describes the role of the Volva or Seidkona, the priestesses, healers and predictors in the Nordic Tradition.

Followers of Asatru organize themselves into small groups; a small community that has contact with other traditions within Paganism.

© PFI Netherlands, translation by Cailin.