Reading

One of the most common questions received from visitors of this site is "where can I get more information?" Though the Internet is full of info, sometimes books have it more organized. The following are a list of books that may help you get started.

Note that this list is not exhaustive and that there are many in the Asatru community who would argue with it. That’s just part of having such a large community, so it is not a bad thing. The reasons for listing these particular books is that they tend to be more accessible to beginners, at least in my experience.

Starting Asatru

These books are a good place to start if you are new to Asatru.

  • Travels Through Middle Earth, the Path of a Saxon Pagan by Alaric Albertsson, Llewellyn Publications 2009. NOTE: This book covers the Saxon version of Asatru.
  • Essential Asatru, Walking the Path of Norse Paganism by Diana L. Paxson, Citadel Press Books 2006. NOTE: This book covers the Norse version of Asatru.
  • The Rites of Odin by Ed Fitch, Llewellyn Publications 1990. NOTE: This has been a staple for many people. It shows an assortment of ceremonies and rituals.
  • The Children of Odin, Nordic Gods and Heroes by Padraic Colum, first published in 1920, currently Barnes & Noble has a version from 2006. NOTE: This is a good introduction to many of the old stories of the Gods.
  • Taking Up the Runes by Diana L. Paxson, Red Wheel/Weiser Inc. 2005. NOTE: This book is designed for individual or group study of the Runes. The Runes are an integral part of Asatru, but you don't have to be an expert to be part of the religion.
  • Northern Tradition for the Solitary Practitioner by Galina Krasskiva and Raven Kalder, Career Press Inc. 2009. NOTE: This can be helpful for those of you who do not have a Kindred of your own.


Other Asatru

These books provide more depth and may help you as you explore beyond the basics.

  • The Poetic Edda There are many translations and people will argue over which is best. I've had good luck with the Lee M. Hollander translation, University of Texas Press 1996. NOTE: The Poetic Edda is the closest thing we have to a "holy book" in the way that phrase is used in the modern western world.
  • Wyrd Working, The Path of a Saxon Sorcerer by Alaric Albertsson, Llewellyn Publications 2011. NOTE: This will introduce you to some of the more practices of persons wishing to do magic.
  • Northern Mysteries and Magick by Freya Aswynn, Llewellyn Publications 1998, previously titled Leaves of Yggdrasil. NOTE: This also introduces you to some of the magic concepts, but the focus in on the feminine side of the subject.
  • Asatru Book of Blotar and Rituals by The Asatru Folk Assembly, 2011. NOTE: I don't always agree with some of the beliefs of the Asatru Folk Assembly, but this book contains a good set of rituals with instructions.


Historical

These books provide a view of history related to our religion.

  • The Sagas of the Icelanders Penguin Publishing has a good translation 2001. NOTE: This is one of the best recourses for understanding how Norse people lived and worshipped a thousand years ago.
  • The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England by H. R. Ellis Davidson, The Boydell Press 1994. NOTE: This book of sword research provides some insight into the culture and beliefs of the Anglo-Saxons of the time.
  • Elves in Anglo-Saxon England by Alaric Hall, The Boydell Press 2007. NOTE: This book covers how the Anglo-Saxons viewed Elves in their everyday lives. Many comparisons are made to the Nordic view as well, making this a good book for those interested in Elves.


Non-Asatru, but good

The books in this section are not Asatru books, but are interesting and may be useful as you navigate through the modern world.

  • How to Win a Local Election by Judge Lawrence Grey, M Evans and Company 1999. NOTE: Asatru people should be involved in their local community, and there is no better way than to hold office.
  • The Myth of American Religious Freedom by David Seehay, Oxford University Press 2011. NOTE: This book helps explain some of the difficulties we face in keeping the separation of church and state in the United States.
  • Common Sense by Thomas Payne, first published before the American Revolution, many copies are available now. The preface of this book has an excellent description of what a government should be and why it is needed. The rest is mostly complaints about King George.
  • On Liberty, by John Stuart Mill, first published in 1859, currently Dover Press has a version from 2002. NOTE: Mill's utilitarian philosophy fits well with Asatru ideals. Reading works like this will help prepare you to argue philosophical points when dealing with others.
  • Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar, Berkley Books 1985. NOTE: The ancestors of today's Asatruar were great merchants. This book will help you become more persuasive and, hopefully, help make you more profitable.
  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, Fall River Press 2012 (originally printed 1937). NOTE: This one has been around for a while because it is popular. Despite the title, the lessons of this book have to do with reaching your goals.