Asatru Groups

For those coming into Asatru from the outside, our group structure can be a little different. In reality, it is fundamentally the same as other human groups; only the dressing is strange. To add to the confusion, there are many different types of groups, though they tend to fit into categories.

Many Asatru people prefer not to join a group. For others, a group is almost a necessity. Groups can be a source of information, or they can be a family providing the connections that most humans crave. The real trick is to find a group that fits your needs where you can be a contributing member.

Types of Groups

As mentioned, there are many different sorts of groups. Here, I will describe some general categories to which some groups belong. Please note that these are only generalities and most groups actually overlap the definitions to varying degrees.

Some groups out there emphasize the scholarly and religious research that helps Asatru grow in the world. The folks therein learn the ancient languages of our ancestors and spend their years reading through histories, sagas, and Eddas.

The most common group is the Kindred. These are the Asatru equivalent to a Christian congregation. They are often made up of families and friend who come together to worship as our ancestors did. With some research, you can probably find a Kindred near you, and there is nothing stopping you from forming one of your own. Note: there is a long history of outsiders of other religions who try to get into Kindreds to cause trouble. It doesn't happen very often, but a Kindred may require that someone vouch for you before letting you in to their ceremonies.

In addition to Kindreds, there are confederations of Kindreds. They have different names, but they have some characteristics in common. They usually host large gatherings where members of the affiliated Kindreds can gather to worship on a large scale. Typically, they have rules to guide the interactions between the member Kindreds, and to make sure they are only affiliating with Kindreds with similar attitudes or inclinations.

Less often, you may find a political activist group claiming to be Asatru in bent. Make sure you look these over rather well. Though some are legitimately Asatru, some use Asatru symbolism to mask other intentions.

Some Examples

A quick look around the Internet will turn up some Asatru groups. One notable group that has been around for a while is the Troth They exist to promote Asatru. The Asatru Alliance is a confederation of Kindreds. The web sites for both groups contain information about Asatru as well as links to other resources and items that you can buy.

Though those two examples are in the United States, Asatru can be found all over the planet. For example, Ásatrúarfélagið is located in Iceland and is fairly popular there. If you search a bit, you should be able to find something. Be aware, however, that some nations have laws governing religion and may try to prosecute those practicing an unsanctioned belief system.

Where to Go Next

Take some time to familiarize yourself with the open groups. If you know someone from a local group, see if they will invite you in. If you can't find an existing group, try to learn Asatru the best you can and then form a group with your friends or family. There are good Rune books made just for group study, and that can be a good start. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being a solitary practitioner.