Just the facts on religion.

Asatru Asatru fast facts and introduction

Name Means

Icelandic, "Æsir faith"

Adherents

unknown

Place Founded

ancient form flourished across northern Europe; modern revival founded in Iceland

Date Founded

ancient form has no founding date; modern revival founded 1970s

Founder(s)

no founder of ancient form; modern revival founded by Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson

Practices

Sacrifice of food or drink, toast to the gods, shamanism (less frequently), celebration of solstice holidays. Nine Noble Virtues is moral code.

Main Holidays

Summer Finding, Winter Finding, Midsummer, Yule

Texts

Eddas (Norse epics); the Havamal (proverbs attributed to Odin)

Ásatrú (Icelandic, "Æsir faith") is a modern revival of the pre-Christian Nordic religion as described in the Norse epic Eddas.

Ásatrú is an Old Norse word consisting of Ása, referring to the Norse gods, and trú, "troth" or "faith". Thus, Ásatrú means "religion of the Æsir." The term was coined by Edvard Grieg in his 1870 opera Olaf Trygvason, in the context of 19th century romantic nationalism.

Generally synonymous terms for Asatru include Germanic Neopaganism, Germanic Heathenism, Forn Sed, Odinism, Heithni or Heathenry.

  • Asatru Beliefs

    Ancient Norse paganism and modern Asatru are polytheistic. In the Viking Age (9th-11th cents.), there were four main deities, with earlier gods remembered as minor deities and other supernatural beings of varying importance... full article →
  • Asatru Ethics

    In place of a list of commandments, followers of Asatru try to follow these "Nine Noble Virtues": - Courage - Truth - Honor - Fidelity - Discipline - Hospitality - Industriousness - Self-Reliance - Perseverance full article →
  • Asatru Holidays and Festivals

    Asatru holidays center on the seasons and are similar to other Neopagan holidays. The major celebrations are: - Summer Finding (spring equinox, March 21) - dedicated to Ostara - Winter Finding (fall equinox, September 21) - Midsummer (summer solstice, June 21) - Yule - the most important holiday; starts on the winter solstice (December 21) and lasts for 12 days full article →
  • Asatru Practices

    Communities of Asatru are called Kindreds, Hearths, or Garths. Priests are called Gothi; priestesses Gythia. A central Asatru ritual is blot, which means sacrifice and may be connected with the word "blood... full article →
  • Asatru Texts

    Neither ancient Norse religion nor modern Asatru is predominantly text-based, but Norse myths are beautifully preserved in two Icelandic epics called the Eddas. full article →
  • Books on Asatru

    Hand-selected books on Asatru available for purchase at online bookstores. full article →
  • History of Asatru

    Asatru, the modern attempt to revive the old Norse faith, was founded by the Icelandic farmer Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson (1924–1993)... full article →

Sources