This blog will focus on historical accuracy and reconstructionism but also on the contemporary religion and sometimes wander into other heathenry, like Anglo - Saxon faith, Odinism, Theodism and so on.
There will however never be any bigotry, homophobia, anti Semitism or stupid ideas of a "pure" Germanic race.
There are two main strains Germanic Neopaganism known as Ásatrú, originating near-simultaneously in Iceland (Ásatrúarfélagið, 1972) and the USA (Asatru Free Assembly, 1974).
While the Scandinavian branch emphasizes pantheist spirituality rooted in medieval and contemporary Scandinavian folklore, the American branch postulates a “native religion of the peoples of Northern Europe” reaching back into the paleolithic. In Germany, the term Asatru is used in the wider sense of Germanic neopaganism.
As Ásatrú implies a focus on polytheistic belief in the Æsir usage of the term in Scandinavia has declined somewhat. In Scandinavia, forn sed / forn siðr “old custom”, Nordisk sed “Nordic custom” or hedensk sed / heiðinn siður “pagan custom” are preferred. In both the Anglosphere and German-speaking Europe, it is widely used interchangeably with other terms for Germanic Neopaganism.
There are notable differences of emphasis between Ásatrú as practiced in the USA and in Scandinavia. According to Strmiska and Sigurvinsson (2005), American Asatruar tend to prefer a more devotional form of worship and a more emotional conception of the Nordic gods than Scandinavian practitioner, reflecting the parallel tendency of highly emotional forms of Christianity prevalent in the United States
Structure and subgroupings:
Solitary practice, or practice in small circles of friends or family is common. These are often called kindreds or hearths, although often they are not formal. Germanic Neopagan organizations have been active since the 1970s, but most of these larger groups are loose federations and do not require committed membership comparable to a church. Consequently, there is no central authority, and associations remain in a state of fluidity as factions form and break up.
There are several possibilities to analyse Germanic Neopaganism into individual currents or subgroupings. One common approach is the classification by notions of ethnicity (“folk”). This may range from ethnic nationalist (völkisch) attitudes with far right tendencies on one hand (the Nouvelle Droite of Alain de Benoist notably has ties to such currents of Neopaganism) to moderate “tribalist” notions of ethnicity as based in tradition and culture, and to “universalist” approaches which de-emphasize differences between ethnic traditions (e.g. Seax Wicca).
Another classification is by approach to historicity and historical accuracy. On one hand, there are reconstructionists who aim to understand the pre-Christian Germanic religion based on academic research and implement these reconstructed . Contrasting with this is the “traditionalist” or “folklorist”, in Scandinavia known as Folketro or Funtrad (short for Fundamentalistisk Traditionalisme) approach which emphasizes living local tradition as central.
Traditionalists will not reconstruct, but base their rituals on intimate knowledge of regional folklore. Proponents of traditionalism include the Norwegian Foreningen Forn Sed and the Swedish Samfälligheten för Nordisk Sed. Both religions reject the ideas of Romanticist or New Age currents as reflected in Asatru.
At the other end of this scale are syncretist or eclectic approaches which merge innovation or “personal gnosis” into historical or folkloristic tradition.
Note that this scale is largely independent of the approaches to “ethnicity” outlined above. Both ethnocentric and universalist Neopagans may de-emphasize historical tradition in favour of “personal gnosis”, albeit for different reasons. “Folkish” currents may rely on postulated racial memory (“metagenetics”) as rendering historical tradition superfluous, while universalists may welcome ahistorical input as ultimately of the same universal validity as historical tradition.
It should be no mystery that i identify with the “reconstructivist” approach……entirely. If there is no hard scientific proof for something i leave iot up to my personal opinions or taste and dont claim it is Norse or Germanic.
In other words i am NOT Universalist NOR Folkish. Neither term means diddley squat to me. I am a modern Scandinavian with a polytheistic, culturally anchored religion, no better or worse than any other and just as open as history and archeology claims (not solely relying on mythology).
I reject the idea that “Seax Wicca” belongs in this argument at all. Seax Wicca is not “Seax” (Saxon) exept for some terminology, names of Deities and iconography. It is an open, less initiatory form of Wicca.
In Scandinavia i have never heard of “Kindreds”, i do however see their function. Blots with more than one participant are here usually rather informal and sometimes referred to as “Blot lag”.
Cults here where always very decentralized and exept for a very few cult centers it could be seen as being performed at “home stead” or “farm level”.
I would say that the main body of heathens in Scandinavia fall somewhere in the reconstructivist group if one HAS to classify. Most of them know a lot of medieval, Scandinavian history.
I would also say that Scandinavian heathens generally identify with the Norse as a whole, the whole culture and history, rather than the vikings.
Scandinavian heathens seem to have a very sober unromantic view of their history and heritage.