New to Asatru

Hailsa! Welcome to your new religion. As new member of the Asatru religion, you probably have many questions and concerns. Were should you start? How should you act? Are you alone? This document will help you along.

If you aren't sure what Asatru is, you may want to start with the page that describes us. You'll get a quick introduction to the beliefs and practices of those who are true to the old Gods.

If you've already decided to join the true way, read on for some things you may want to consider doing.

Learn about the Gods

Asatru is a polytheistic religion. That means we have more than one god. In fact, we have a large number of Gods and Goddesses, as well as a multitude of other entities who work with or against the Gods. You'll probably want to familiarize yourself with at least the more notable ones to get started. As you grow spiritually, you will learn about the others.

A good way to learn about the Gods, as well as some of the others, is by reading the Eddas and the Sagas. Eddas are tales about the Gods; you can think of it as sort of being our bible. The Sagas are stories about this world, for the most part, and the heroes and notable personages. There are good examples of behavior in the Sagas, but you must keep in mind that the exact behaviors often belong to older times and may not be the way we do things today.

Join a Kindred

In Asatru, Kindreds are like our churches, that is the group of people and not the buildings. (The building, when there is one, is called a Hoff.) It is not necessary to join a Kindred, and many of us do not, but joining can provide camaraderie and companionship. Knowing that you are not alone can help give you an anchor in life's turbulent seas.

Your Kindred may or may not belong to a larger organization. Two such organizations are the Troth and the Asatru Alliance. You will want to understand both the local Kindred and any affiliations they have before you join. If you're not going to get along you are better off politely declining membership. On the other hand, associating with people who share your beliefs can bring many benefits.

There is always the option to remain a Solitary Practitioner. This simply means that you are not officially a member of any particular group. It doesn't mean that you cannot associate with a group; you should feel free. It is just a choice to find your own path.

Patron Deity

Some Asatruar feel the need to attach to on particular God or Goddess. There is nothing wrong with this, but it is not required. You do not have to choose a Patron Deity. In most cases, those who have a special relationship with a particular God did not choose the relationship, but felt that they were pulled to the God.

If you find yourself drawn to a God or Goddess, feel free to devote more time to Him or Her. You will still want to show proper respect to the others as well. In the case of a slight pull, you may just want to learn more about that God. If you get a strong pull, you may want to build a shrine and devote your life to Him or Her.

Again, it is important to keep in mind that this is not required. You may remain unattached. Then, you might get a call later.

Learn Runes

The Runes are an important part of Asatru religion and culture. You will want to familiarize yourself with them. At first, you may just want to carry a card with the Runes on it until it becomes more natural. It can take time; you are learning a different alphabet after all.

The Runes have an alphabetic meaning (you can write with them) as well as mystical and magical meanings. Start by learning how to write with them and, when possible, read with them. If you go no further than this, you'll be fine.

If you decide to go further, be prepared to find an unlimited source of wisdom and power. It is at this point that you will make your own set of Rune staves for divination and meditation. In the God's battle to maintain balance between order and chaos, the Runes are another weapon at your disposal. You may be called upon to use them.

What about Christians?

You may have family and friends who are Christian. You may have to do business with them. (Most of the English-speaking world is Christian.) They may not take kindly to your new path. We've all had to deal with that. There are some things you can do make things better.

First, you may have to make an effort to keep peace in the family. Some of them may make it hard for you, but they are still your family. Keep reminding yourself that they aren't Asatru because they don't know better, but you may not be able to convince them of that. Try to agree to disagree and keep the peace. Christianity has no problem with tearing apart a family if there are non-Christians there.

You will also have to deal with business associates and customers. The same problems can happen there. Our Asatru ancestors were known for their business acumen. Traders and merchants earned great respect for their dealings. You must follow their example. There's no need to go out of your way to tell them about your religion (but you don't need to lie about it either!) You're doing business to make a profit. Sell to the Christians and get their money to make your Asatru people stronger.

Most importantly, you need to be an example of honor, strength, and nobility in your community. That's your entire community, not just the Asatruar. You do this by being respectable in all your dealings. They may not like your religion all the time, but they will put up with it if you are a notable personage. You may even get a few converts.

What if I'm not White?

The Gods are the Gods. The Wyrd is the Wyrd. The Eddas say that Man and Woman were made from Ash and Elm. It does not say anything about them being white. In the battle to maintain balance between order and chaos, everyone is encouraged to help.

You may find some claiming to be Asatruar who would disagree with that idea. You'll find such disagreements in most religions if you look hard enough. Just set your heart on being Asatru better than they are and the Gods will take care of the rest.