Old Gods

When you have to explain your religion to someone unfamiliar with it, there is a temptation to say you worship the Old Gods. I have heard this plenty of times and I have used that phrasing myself. However, this may send the wrong message.

It is true that our Gods have been around for a long time. In that sense, they may be Old Gods. When we use the phrase, though, we aren't talking about the age of the Gods Themselves. We are saying that we worship the Gods that our ancestors worshipped. We are talking about old practices among humans.
When we describe the Gods as old in this way, it can produce a negative, or at least an incorrect image in the mind of the listener. They see primitive old Deities sitting in a gray, foggy cave on moss-covered stone thrones. They see those old Gods sitting around waiting for worshippers to come along, wasting away due to neglect. What they don't see are the vibrant, modern, lively Gods that actually go about Their modern business in the Worlds.
Our Gods haven't been sitting idle these past centuries. They still have all of Their usual tasks. They also interact with each other and procreate from time to time. If humans don't know the new Gods, it is because we haven't been paying attention. These Gods we worship are The Gods and they are here working every minute of every day, as They always have been and always will be (to varying degrees).
Instead of saying that you worship the Old Gods, try saying that you worship THE Gods. That's right; tell the listener that these are the Gods to worship because these are the Gods that are there. If necessary, you can then elaborate and explain that Northern Europeans worshipped these Gods a long time ago. When you finish explaining things to them, remind them that they are also allies of the Gods, whether they know it or not.


It's good to hear that you have had such a positive response from those in your environment. Keep up the Good work.
I was just telling someone else about the book Taking Up the Runes by Diana L. Paxson. It is intended as a group study book for learning the Runes. Perhaps that is a way you can bring some people into the religion in a lightly structured way.
Good luck!