About the Gods

Asatru is a polytheistic religion. That means that we believe in more than one god. If you aren't used to that, the concept may be a little difficult to grasp. You may ask what are these gods and what do they do? You may really want to know how to relate to them. These are all good questions and I hope to get you on your way to understanding.

In Asatru, time starts with a Void between Fire and Ice. Eventually, the combinations of the forces of Fire and Ice resulted in the Nine Worlds. It is in the Nine Worlds where life exists (we are in the middle one). If either Fire or Ice gains too much control, the Nine Worlds would cease to exist and that would be bad.

During those early ages, Odin and His brothers showed up. They took an active part in shaping the worlds. They also worked to create the various life forms that inhabit these worlds. That means they created humans (the Children of Ash and Elm).

As time went on, other gods appeared. For some, we know the stories of their birth. Presumably the gods know the stories of Their own births, but They don't tell us everything. There are at least two families of gods, the Aesir and the Vanir. The Aesir tend to be more urban and, sometimes, more warlike. The Vanir tend to be more interested in the primitive and natural aspects of life. There is a lot of overlap though.

Each deity seems to have a particular skill or area of interest. This is what people refer to when they say a god is a god of something. For example, Odin's wife Frigga is known as the Goddess of the Home (among other things).

Some people believe that a god is an anthropomorphic representation of a concept or natural force. Others see the gods as entities who we just see in the terms of the things they want us to know. There are people who see the gods as entities that are very similar to humans but just a bit more than that. Because we must always interpret reality through human eyes and limitations, we will probably never fully understand the gods.

The question then is why Odin and His brothers created humans in the first place. If you look at the other worlds, there are other intelligent entities that are suited to those worlds. You see, the gods must maintain that fight to keep the dynamic balance between Fire and Ice. It is good to have help that is native to the individual worlds. For the middle world, that ally is humanity. It is our job to maintain the dynamic balance.

As long as you are on the side of the gods, you are a respectable person yourself. The gods will have respect for you. That makes you an ally. That answers the question of how you relate to the gods. We stand beside them as their friends and allies. We do not cower or grovel before them. That's not what they want from us. They want us to be strong.

So, there you have it. We are the allies of the gods and they want us to be as strong as we can be, physically and mentally. We owe it to them and to the rest of humanity to do our best.