Asatru is based on freedom, honesty, fidelity and respect for nature, and all life therein. The main principle of the heathen custom is that every human being is responsible for themselves and their own actions. As devoted Heathens we actively promote religious freedom and open communication. We strive, through education and by living example, to restore our ancient religion to its rightful place among the world's faiths, and to reveal and refute, whenever possible, misrepresentations and propaganda against our beliefs and our ancestral Gods.
In addition, there are a few people of other faiths who promote hatred of us because we are Heathen. Heathens and Pagans the world over continue to suffer prejudicial treatment because of our religion. To this day, many of those who practice their native ethnic religion must continually strive to overcome two thousand years of oppression by fundamentalist religious zealots, who from the beginning of the organized Christian church systematically attempted to eradicate all Heathen religions from the face of the Earth. So it is clear that many misconceptions about our faith and ways have been circulated by religious fundamentalists, and it is largely due to this anti-heathen propaganda that false conceptions of Heathenism have arisen.
While there are several Satanist groups who foolishly attempt to associate and integrate Odin into their system, which is not Northern at all, but merely a reactionary perversion of the Judeo-Christian traditions and ceremonial magic. Asatru is a religion of its own, and does not define itself through opposition to some other established religion's God, as Satanism does. There are many Websites now that basically describe Asatru as a kind of Satanism, and this is completely false, as Satan does not exist in the Germanic heathen religion. To truely believe in the existance of SATAN first requires the belief in the existance of the Hebrew God Yahweh, his alleged son Jesus, and their holy ghost. One cannot seriously claim without immense ignorance to be a Satanist as well as claiming to be Asatru, which are mutually exclusive allegiances. Satan is a Christian myth, and as true heathens we simply don't believe any of them existed at any time.
Some of the Satanists erroneously seem to think that the definition of Heathenism is found merely in "opposition to Christianity," unaware that Asatru (and other heathen religions) define itself from within, and has its own native cosmology and world view that existed long before the invention of Christianity.
The myth of Satan have its origins in the doctrine called as Zoroastrianism that came long before
Christianity. The doctrine?s creation is usually attributed to a man named Zoroaster (Zarathustra) who was a 6th century BCE Iranian religious reformer.
It was he who invented the theory that the entire universe is ruled by only two Gods; one representing the life giving creation forces and absolute goodness. The other God represented the destruction forces and absolute evil. According to Zoroaster?s teachings, when a human being is born, he is born with a purpose to serve (be slave of) one of these two divine beings. That choice is only up to the individual human and depending of that choice, that person will have a good fortune in the living word and a bad fortune in the word of dead beings and vice- versa, depending of which God that is chosen to follow.
When Christianity was being invented it borrowed that conception, absorbed it into its own mythos, and transformed the tribal God of the Jews into a universal God for everyone, and the evil God of destruction became the Christian Devil. The iconography of the Evil One was borrowed from many other religions and cultures of great diversity. For example, the horns comes from the greek God called Pan. Pan was a God of fertility and a lover of one of the Greek Goddesses. The trident used by The Satan, was borrowed from The God Shiva,
Closely related to the duality of holy / unholy in the question of good and evil. The West has inherited a great deal of its own viewpoint on this matter from the Middle East, in which it is a frequent practice to separate being into absolute Good and absolute Evil. The problem with this, of course, is that when absolute concepts are applied to the relative world, they are generally applied according to local prejudices. The effect of this can be seen in, among other things, the incredible psychological devastation wreaked on the Western world by the declaration: "Sexuality is evil; absence of sexuality is good."
Rather than this extreme and absolutist view of good and evil, the heathen Germanic peoples viewed right as being that justice and correctness which maintains a living society, while wrong was injustice, incorrectness, or anything breaking the bonds of a fairness and law On which society is founded. This Germanic folk belief in right as justice and fairness is one Of the foremost Germanic contribuitions to civilization as a whole, especially when you see it as the main barrier against Western civilizations?s advance into totalitarianism: the deep-rooted belief that "no one is above the law," that neither private people nor the government has the right to step outside the bounds of the legal system for any purpose and even a king-or a president-can be brought before the courts if due cause exists.
Some Stanists insist, just because they use a calendar of unholy days which is very similar
to those of Asatru (and Heathen ones in general), and just because they perform certain rites
that has subltle similarities to a Heathen rite, that they must be Heathens / Pagan as well.
Both the words for "Heathen" and "Pagan" are translated to meaning
"Country-Dwellers" and at the begining of the Christianization of Europe
it was used to make reference to the peasants who still clung the their native religious ways, in contrast to the first Christian converts who lived exclusively in the major cities at that time.
Heathenism is a generic term used to classify several ancient indigenous religions.
The main differances are:
Heathenism is polytheistic, meaning that we believe in many Gods, and Goddesses. These beings were worshiped as celestial deities, Earthly deities and their powers over the forces of nature.
In sharp contrast, Anton LaVey (the father of modern Satanism) asserts that Satanism is actually atheistic, and accoding to him, all the Gods and Goddesses are nothing more than "aspects" of the Self. All is in the worshipper's mind. Both are very different belief systems. Then, the assosiation of Asatru to Satanism, no matter if it is traditional or the New Age LaVey system is not only wildly innacurate, but also a severe insult to our Gods, Goddesses and Asatruar everywhere. Anyone who claims to be an Asatruar and a satanist is a fake, a fraud, an ignorant scar on the face of Germanic Heathenry.
Asatru is one of the main religious manifestations of the several branches of the
European spiritual faiths. It is Polytheist (The worship of or belief in more than one God / Goddess) and Animist (The belief in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit natural objects and phenomena). We vehemently reject the spiritual belief called Pantheism
[from the Greek words: Pan= All, Theos= Deity, Ism= Ideology] which is THE main underlying concepts of Wicca, and is the belief in and worship of all Gods and Goddesses who are mearly aspects of one another.
Our Gods and Goddesses are not merely aspects of one greater deity as they proclaim,
they are as individual as you and I, and we take strong offense at the attempts to inappropriately apply their pantheistic paradigm to our sacred ways.
Again, we state that Asatru is much more than simply a "cultural" movement. It is tied to a certain people (those of Northern European / Germanic ancestry) as the spiritual expression of our people. As such, it belongs to us exclusively because it is the expression of our ancestral way of life and view of the worlds around us. Asatru is the exclusive spiritual right of the Northern European Pan-Germanic peoples and does not belong to those not of our people.
WHY WE REFUTE WICCA:
1) Wicca was invented and established in between the mid 1940s to the mid 1960s primarily by Gerald Gardner - it has no verifiable historical authenticity before that time period despite the claims of some revisionists who fantasize about it being "the old religion" of ancient Europe. Gardner?s' self admitted purpose was not to resurrect any real identifiable ancient pre-christain religion, but to create a religion based on what he thought the ideal ancient religion SHOULD have been like. But instead of being forthright in what Wicca really is, Wiccans had to invent a past for their own faith, as the only solid evidence for the origins of wicca consists of the writings of Gerald Gardner himself.
The bulk of Gardner?s' works and conclusions were primarily based on various unscholastic anthropological works like that of James Frazer, Margret Murry, Marija Gimbutas and Johann Bachofen. All of whose research was horribly out of date (if correct at all), presented their theories as fact, made grand and sweeping assumptions, and did not make any attempt to distinguish between the relative value of their sources, so that those from the seventh century and from the seventeenth century were put together with no sense of context. They assumed that the "ancient world" formed a whole and consequently mixes data from all over this vast area without raising the possibility of local variation. Thus they pluck material from all over time and space and they arraigned it to suit their tastes and that of their readers. Gardner relied entirely upon these faulty works which have all long since been proven to be more fiction than fact in their conclusions and are of little value to the those who seek a more serious and authentic and accurate approach in spiritual matters. Gardner took various bits and pieces from these authors, mixed them together to his own liking and made up his own religion ( called Wicca) to suit his own personal vision and desires.
2) Wiccans try to make the name Wicca synonymous with Heathen / Paganism - it is not! At best it is an eclectic form of 20th Century Neo-paganism pirating and pillaging from whatever spirituality they wish, mixing up spiritual frameworks that were never intended to work together. At worst it is not even Pagan or Heathen but mostly it is an eclectic mix of high magic, OTO rituals, masonic ritual, Jewish Kabala, Christian mysticism and New Age philosophy with a God and Goddess who are somehow ALL Gods and Goddesses thrown in to Paganise it.
The Wiccan MAGICAL tradition does go back about 50 years earier than the RELIGIOUS manifestation of it, but as a whole it is still far from having the distinction of it being truly ancient (As most wiccans have the impression that it is). Real scholars, historians, anthropologists and archeologists have disproved many of the deepest held and leading concepts / tenants of wiccan theology, such as: ancient matriarchal societies, "Sky Clad" (naked) religious ceremonies, The Maiden/ Mother /Crone triplicate goddess theory, ancient Goddess centered religions ( as differentiated from a specific goddess centered cult within the parameters of one distinct religion) there is absolutely NO evidence of covens of 13, witches riding on broomsticks or any other of the medieval Christian fantasies associated with witchcraft.
3) The so called historical and traditional witches that Wicca claims to identify with were not witches at all, but unfortunate women who got in the way of church or local politics. Many of these women were actually midwifes, healers or herbalists, and the vast majority of these women, were in fact Christians.
4) The images of witches and the actions of witches were not taken from witches but from the ignorant & depraved imaginations of the medieval Catholic priesthood who possessed little real knowlage of authenic magical practice, witchcraft, or heathen mythology / religious practice (they also ignorantly referred to Islam as a Pagan religion). Unfortunately for their victims, the medieval priesthood were more adept at paedophilia, mass manipulation, political abuse, torture and murder.
5) It is mainly these Wiccans that have en masse, reapedly jumped on each new trendy band wagon, who do not do any research and who are just followers of a new age cult that can be put in the same category as the Moonies, the Jehovah Witnesses and the Hari Krishnas
They are perceived as ignorant cultural and spiritual rapists. They have wreaked havok & desecration to the spirituality of the North American Indians, Australian Aboriginals,
Greco Romans, the Celts, the Babylonians, the Egyptians and many more. They descrate the
content of the worlds religious and yet many have the gall to claim they have the RIGHT to do it.
Wiccan eclectics are like magpies in that they only take the best and brightest aspects of each spiritual tradition and leave the rest behind. In sharp contrast, Asatru does not need to steal or borrow from other traditions to make it a strong or complete faith simply because it doesn't have to, it's already complete and strong as it is.
The term "norse-wiccan" is an oxymoron. Ralph Blum and his rune books with his rune cookies (also as the creator of the pointless 'blank rune') is also guilty of spiritual rape, he invents his own history when one already exists to a people who hold such lore to be sacred. He makes money off of his hoax, he's a fraud and a cultural thief. As leading Wiccan priestesses and a very prolific writer Margot Adler rightly said "The most authentic and hallowed wiccan tradition is stealing from any source that didn't run away too fast"
We declare the spiritual traditions of ALL authentic religious paths should be held sacred and not a thing to be treated lightly. And yet many wiccans and neo-pagan are turning Asatru into a mockery. The self proclaimed "norse wiccans" often disrespect Odin's sacred runes in their magical rituals and many wear the hammer without truly respecting Thor.
We are weary of New Agers and Wiccans stealing and subverting our cultural and spiritual ways and perverting it or using it to make some profit. It is a despicable practice and those who do such things are thieves - plain and simple. By pretend playing the role of "Viking" they are making a mockery of our deepest held beliefs. They are seizing what is sacred for us and profaning it. It is clearly offensive and they come across as a parody, a desecration and a profanity.
That the Northern tradition was anything BUT the spiritual path of the Germanic folk and to make it into a
Universal religion amounts to eclectic sacrilege. Asatru is not an eclectic spiritual movement,
for once you take it our of its inherently ethnic framework and start to add things from other
cultures you cease to have Asatru and begin to have some different entity entirely.
We don't care for 'spiritual rape' of any sort nor anyone who would support it. WE alone are the Guardians of the religion of OUR Folk! and we alone have the right to object and fight against the spiritual and cultural rape of our holy traditions from ALL sources, including Wicca.
Another major, and separate contribution to the confusion surrounding wicca was begun in 1944 by one the greatest modern English poets and historical novelists, Robert Graves. He wrote the
"White Goddess" drawing upon images culled from Celtic and Gaeco-Roman literatures, and fusing
them with his own tremendously creative inspiration to provide a personal religion to accompany
his religion. The result was a sustained metaphor, a vision of the sort of past that the writer
thought ought to have existed. In this book he expresses a state of creative longing which was
made and presented in such a way that it was literally true. As a result, it was taken as history by
a large number of unscholarly readers. He invented a matriarchal religion with a "Celtic Great
Earth Goddess" who manifested in the three fold aspects of Maiden, Mother, Crone. This is still
presented to wiccans as grounded in historical fact, even by many who do not worship her
themselves. He devised what has become known as the "Celtic Tree Calendar". He firmly associated
all goddesses with the moon which he made to to seem natural but was not so to many heathen
peoples, including the Celts.
Gardner's Second source from which he drew the context of Wicca appears to have been the work of the modern authors who proclaimed the continued existence of ancient paganism as a witch cult through the middle ages. From Margret Murray's book "The Witch Cult in Western Europe" he barrowed the term "the Old Religion", the Horned God & Goddess, the organization of covens, the idea that all ancient religions had essentially been concerned with fertility. From C.G. Leland he took the idea that ancient pagans and witches carried out their rituals naked. From the English folk custom he took the term for marriage within his faith "handfasting" and certain rites such as the leaping over fires. As the key text of the ceremonies, Gardener and his group used his "Book of Shadows" which he wrote. This he claimed to be a sixteenth century, where as it is recognizably a mid-twentieth century compilation drawing upon a remarkable range of sources, including the Ardia, or Gospel of the Witches (1899) by Charles Godfrey Leland, the writing of ceremonial magician Alistar Crowley, and a poem by Rudyard Kipling! the beings invoked include hebrew demons from the medieval texts translated by Mathers, Egyptian deities from translated hieroglyphic inscriptions employed by the Golden dawn and few Graeco-Roma Goddesses and Gods, figures form Celtic mythology and medieval romance, and Leland's Aradia. Some of Gardner's wiccan practices he simply invented himself, and passed on as ancient such as the five fold kiss upon initiation, and the inclusion to their Spiritual calendar of celebrations of the quarter days identified as major witch festivals by author Margret Murray. Together they launched what is probably the most eclectic religion in the history of the world.
This newly founded religion of Wicca proved to be a tremendous success, especially amongst people who were not already familiar with the sources from which it had been drawn. It gave the appearance of an immeasurably ancient spiritual system of native wisdom and worship. It gave equal emphasis to both genders as deities, religious officiators and participants. It was inclusive and provided the gratification of initiated into a mystery cult; meeting in private, and of ascending its grades through a process of training and experience. It afforded a close relationship with the natural world and with the rhythms of the year. It joyously celebrated the pleasure principle and personal freedom. During the 1950s and 1960s covens based on the "Gardnerian" model sprang up all over Britain and the USA. After the death of Gardner himself in 1964, figures with a yet greater talent for publicity and education appeared within the wiccan tradition that he had founded. Some claimed to represent entirely different covens, who were now likewise emerging from the secrecy that Christianity had driven them long ago. It was at this time that the triple Goddess of Maiden , Mother, Crone from Robert Graves fictional novel "A White Goddess" became the female deity of wicca. When you compare Wicca with true heathenism of antiquity, one fundamental difference is that wicca deliberately blurs the distinction between religion and magic, and its practices are drawn from the later. The vital significance of the consecrated circle, in the modern cult as in the medieval sorcery from which it is derived, is that spirits or forces are raised and gathered within it and the humans concerned work with them. It would have been inconceivable to any ancient European heathen, of whose thought we have evidence, that the purpose of religious ritual was to "raise" a deity and "work" with him or her. No ancient Gods or Goddesses worth the name could be summoned by worshippers, to any particular place, and there employed. The modern emphasis is upon a series of techniques which confer benefit upon the celebrants or their objective. The ancient one is upon a set of ceremonies intended to give pleasure to and therefore earn a reward from divine beings. That is why the rite of present day wiccans & witches are totally lacking in the universal principle of sacrifice. By assuming that witchcraft and paganism were formerly the same phenomenon, they are mixing two utterly different concepts and in doing so place themselves in a certain amount of difficulty. The advantage of the label "witch" is that it has all the exciting connotations of a figure who flouts conventions of normal society and is possessed of powers unavailable to it, at once feared and persecuted. It is a marvelous rallying point for a counter culture, and also one of the few readily available images of independent female power in early modern European civilization. The disadvantage is that by identifying with themselves with a very old stereotype of menace, derived from the Christian world itself, modern wiccans and witches have drawn upon themselves a great deal of unnecessary suspicion, vituperation and imaginary victimization which they are perpetually struggling to assuage
Another notable distinction between the "Old Religion" and Wicca/Witchcraft lies in the two
presiding divine figures of wicca, the Goddess and the God. From the beginning Wiccans recognized that across the wide spectrum of the ancient world worship an enormous number of deities of both genders. They incorporated a varied selection for use in their rituals, but made it plain that
these were not individual beings but different names and aspects of the great couple. This is a
vision very remote from the genuine polytheism of antiquity. The 'duotheism' of Wicca is part of
this general characteristic of their faith, summed up by two of their most prolific authors as
"the creative polarity of complementary opposites" such as male/female, light/dark,
intelligence/intuition. This sort of dualism is not rooted in European antiquity and if it does
derive from any old tradition it is from that strain middle eastern thought found in
Zoroastrianism, Manichaeanism and Christianity. In view of this it is ironically appropriate that another characteristic of the writings of contemporary Wiccans consists of an intense and
consistent hostility to the Christian Church. Other differences between Wiccan and any really
ancient religion is that no known cult in the ancient world was carried on by devotees
who worshipped regularly in the nude like the witches portrayed by Leland and Gardner. Also no
known pre-chrstian religion practiced all eight festivals in the calendar adopted by Wicca.
All told, Wicca has virtually nothing in common with that of the religions of the past except its name, which is itself a Christian coinage.
During the 1970s & 80s Wicca became even more eclectic. Unfortunately it did not expand and enrich its repertoire by a closer study of the authentic religious practices of the past, but rather it spread sideways to absorb many other diverse and conflicting traditions of religion, magic and culture. From the "Earth mysteries" it took the idea of Ley Lines and earth energies. From the Native American traditions they appropriated totemic animals, spirit quests, medicine wheels, sweat lodges and shamanic visions. From the Religions of the East came meditative techniques, mandalas, chakras and the third eye. All these importations were imposed to differing degrees and in different proportions upon the original wicca. resulting in an even more extensive and diverse religion composed of a series of interlocking cults. But the greatest influence of all was exerted by radical feminism. In the early decades of Wicca the Horned God was more or less the equal to the Goddess, but by the 1980s he had generally become the junior partner, her son and consort. A heavy new emphasis had also been made up upon an association, proposed by Gardner in the beginning , between the Wiccan female deity, the Prehistoric Mother Earth and the belief in prehistoric matriarchies.
This wiccan ideal that all human society was once led by women was made popular in some radical circles in the 1960s by the books of Elizabeth Davis, Helen Diner and Robert Graves. All of these writer ultimately depend on their factual information from "Das Mutterrecht" ( The Matriarchy ) written by Johann Jakob Bachofen, which appeared in 1861. Bachofen drew his data from Greek sources, notably Herodotus, and advanced the theory and argument that all human societies had passed through an age in which women ruled. The only real development in this idea over the next 120 years was that Bachofen had proposed that this theoretical matriarchal society was a disaster for everybody, Helen Diner suggested that it had been good for women and her successors proclaimed that it had been marvelous for humanity and for the planet as well. Meanwhile, the same questioning impulse of the 1960s, which produced not only contemporary feminism and the demolition of the academic orthodoxy concerning the Mother Goddess, led scholars to re-examine the sources upon which Bachofen had depended. They now had at their disposal a great deal more information about the societies upon which the Greeks had written, and about the motivations of ancient authors such as Dio Cassius or Herodotus, than had been available in 1861. The cumulative effect of all this material was to destroy any convincing argument for the existence of any matriarchal, matrilineal or matrifocal peoples in Europe or the Near East. The combination of Bachofen's myth with modern Wicca proved extremely potent. By the late 1970s it had become the creed of both radical feminists and Wicca that witchcraft, goddess worship and woman?s rights were intermingled. Both could portray the ancient pre-Christian religions as Goddess centered, and the Great Witch Hunts as a deliberate attack upon feminism as much as on Paganism. This ideology provided a further excellent reason for modern Wiccans to ignore those pre-Christian religions of which we have real evidence as being 'patriarchal', and to concoct beliefs and rituals conceived to approximate better to a faith set in a prehistoric fairyland. It also equipped many of them with an intense moral fervor and a martyrology.
It may be observed that Wicca has become a movement which builds upon a closed system of belief. Up to about the 1970s the bibliographies appended in wiccan books contained works by 'establishment' scholars and authors, as well as by people of their own persuasion. After then, all have tended to read one anthers books and to write for each other. All have almost totally ignored the tremendous outpouring of new academic publications that are actually relevant to their interests, such as the important recent works concerning the Great Witch Hunts and authentic ancient heathenism.
The Pentagram and the Hammer