So, lets say you’re industrious and have your altar. What now? Well, worship of course.
But what are you worshiping? What is the fundamental basis of Heathenism/Asatru? It’s easy with religions like Christianity (salvation), Islam (service to Allah), Buddhism (enlightenment). But what about Asatru? What is the fundamental, one word descriptive purpose of the religion of the Norse and Germanic Tribes?
This may surprise you. After all, most of our introduction into the Heathen religions is from the Vikings, and everyone pretty much knows them for Pillage, Burn, Rape, Murder, Glory, War! Family hasn’t ever been the biggest defining trait that’s been put out there. But it is true, it’s all about family.
See, the Heathen religions, and pantheon, are the only religion out there that starts out with the Gods not just as creators, but as actual Parents to those they created. God the Father, as you see in Christianity, is something they got from us. Odin is known as the All-Father, and was for long before the Contract based God of the Hebrew peoples ever was.
But the Gods are family. The spirits, depending on which ones you run into, are family. Certain Wights and most certainly the Tomte. (More on this later). We celebrate with family. We don’t have churches, we have Kindreds. We build families with those who worship with us.
Now a lot of us come from broken homes. Some of us come from homes that were so far past broken, broken looked like a damn good improvement. But we can still create families based on spirit, if not on blood. Because we have the blood of our Gods and our Ancestors in us, and that ties us back to our larger family.
This is not to say that because we are born of our Gods and Goddesses, we are superior. We’re not. Blood, flesh, this illusionary construct of “race,” have no barring on who is or isn’t “superior.” Deeds mark a person as superior. To do mighty deeds, for good or ill, will raise you above others. But it is not in Heathenism, new and especially not old, that ours is a “superior” peoples or even a “superior” way. They are simply our people, it is simply our way. And we think it’s pretty damn cool, but that doesn’t make it any better than anyone else and their way.
So when you pray to the Gods and Goddesses, or speak with the spirits, remember they are your family, and you should be both loving and respectful.
The other foundation is Like for Like. This would be the Golden Rule of Heathenism. Treat others as they treat you. Return goodness with good. If someone helps you out in a time of need, you must help them in their time to the utmost of your ability, and in turn they should do the same for you. This is Honor. But if a person treats you with ill, if they slander you, steal from you, attack you, do harm to your family, then your Justice and Retribution must be unfailing. This too is honor.
Family and Like for Like, these are the foundations of Heathenism.