Let's do an episode that bridges Celtic and Norse mythologies with the burgeoning modern day practice called Asatru. Asatru isn't the only "Germanic neopaganism," actually there are a lot of them, but whatevs, any Heathenry is good Heathenry
The JIS our fine guest has selectedEdit
There are several currents; for example, of the two currents in Scandinavia, Asatru is considered more reconstructionist as believers incorporate the findings of academic research and try to mirror the actions of their ancestors as they were in reality, as opposed to taking the folkloric traditions at face value.
The following is taken from the official website of the Asatru Alliance, reflecting the Asatru tradition in the US as it began in the 70s.
Asatru isn't just what we BELIEVE, it's what we ARE.Edit
You'd think it'd be just a bunch of run of the mill pagans writing fruity poems about Baldr's mistletoe, but no
Surprisingly, there's an element of racial memory to Asatru.
- Wiki: 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.
- Because we are more like our ancestors than we are like anyone else. We inherited not only their general physical appearance, but also their predominant mental, emotional, and spiritual traits. We think and feel more like they did; our basic needs are most like theirs. The religion which best expressed their innermost nature - Asatru - is better suited to us than is some other creed which started in the Middle East among people who are essentially different from us. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are alien religions which do not truly speak to our souls.
The implications are a tad unfortunate, and obviously there's no evidence to support that claim. You'd think it must just be some midlife crisis motherfuckers who want to pretend they're vikings--with the exception of actual badasses like Axe, who we don't want to kill us.
Well, in all honesty they play up the "civilization" aspect of their heritage more than the warrior thing (although the official website admits the tribes were "valiant but unsophisticated" lol). They draw a connection between Northern European blood and the "source of our finest civilized traditions"--trial by jury, parliaments, common law and even women's rights.
- Our very word "law" comes from the Norse language, not from the tongues of the Christian lands.
Yeah, our word for weiner comes from the Norse language, too (probably).
Anyway, the Vikings probably weren't as violent as their enemies painted them; history is by no means free of exaggeration regarding foreigners.
Gothar: The tribal priesthood, that used to preside over holy gatherings at sacred springs and groves. Today they are the poor goobers who have to "reawaken the spirit of the folk" tainted by "Christian pollution" as Asatru missionaries embodying all the best aspects of humanity (bravery and love and whatnot). They maintain the sacred places and provide the ritual equipment.
- If you are a dabbler in the Northern mysteries, a crystal poking Norse Wiccan, or someone who lives in a fantasy world, please go far away and do everyone a favor.
I think I like this religion
You need to become an apprentice to an existing priest and study your ass off and even then your chances of being recognized as one are slim, so I guess they're kind of like rabbis
Blots: Sacrificial rituals at several points in the year when everybody gathers. They don't sacrifice animals anymore, now it's alcoholic beverages that get us closer to schmoozing with our deities
Gothar presiding over the big important blessings need oath rings, altars and
- We know from the Myths, that Thorr blessed the funeral pyre of Baldur with his Hammer. We also know from the Sagas that Thorr's Hammer was used to bless brides, babies, and the Folk. A ritual sized Hammer is also a must. Mine was a gift from my foster father, and is hand carved from cherry wood. It has served me and the Folk well for twenty years. The Hammer is also used in some Blot is for the banishing ritual, and later to bless the Feast. I have seen some Gothis use a sledgehammer purchased from the hardware store, and I know of some prison Kindreds who use a rubber Hammer. Again, what is important here is the symbolism, and the power in the blessing projected by the Gothi. Improvise!
- Inmates of the "Intensive Management Unit" at Washington State Penitentiary who are adherents of Ásatrú in 2001 were deprived of their Thor's Hammer medallions. In 2007, a federal judge confirmed that Ásatrú adherents in US prisons have the right to possess a Thor’s Hammer pendant. An inmate sued the Virginia Department of Corrections after he was denied it while members of other religions were allowed their medallions
Sumbels: Everyone passes around a flask of ale and they toast to the gods and heroes and stuff.