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Asatru: A Revival from The End

Written By: Aidan Forshaw

    Asatru is a religion first thought to be created over 40,000 years ago, older than Christianity, Buddhism, and almost any other religion cared to name. The name itself translates to 'Belief in the Gods' in Old Norse, and was thought to be practiced in what is now Scandinavia, England, Germany, France, and the Netherlands.

    To start with, Asatru believes that divine energy and essences are in everything and everywhere, and with each action we take, we in turn affect a God or Goddess, and then they affect us. This then takes into the fact that when someone dies, they are judged, and then sent to their section of the afterlife, which consists of Valhalla, where the good hearted and strong go, Hel, where the mediocre go to spend the rest of eternity in silence until the End of the Worlds, or Helheim, where the wicked go to battle with no end for eternity. There is also no 'direct line' to a God or Goddess, aka Pope in the religion. Each person is expected to speak to the God/goddess they want directly.

    Another major difference it has with modern religion, specifically Christianity, is that the followers of this religion do not believe in the concept of 'Original Sin' or the fact that they need saving due to this fact. The followers of Asatru believe that whatever happens during their life should be seen exactly as it was in the afterlife, and that any judgment is fair, and accepted. As you can probably already tell, the religion shares many similarities to regular Norse or Swedish mythology and religion, and in many ways, this IS the forbearer for the Norse Gods and Goddess'.

    However, it is still its own entity as a religion, as the followers believed that worship of the Gods was not technically necessary. After all, they are Gods, are they not? Why would they NEED our meager offerings. No, they believed that while the Gods liked their offerings, they were not strictly required. In fact, the Norse take on religion itself is remarkably Liaise Faire. They thought that their Gods were constantly among them, and if they happened to leave something for them, then they would do better in that Gods influence. And if there were no offerings, they would just be the usual acts. No spite existed towards mortals, as more often than not, the Gods were once mortals who 'elevated' to that level trough feats of strength or great deeds. In fact, in many ways, their belief is similar to the adoration of Saints in the Presbyterian religion.

    While on the topic of other religions, many have commandments that either limit or otherwise burden the follower, the Key tenants of Asatru are to embrace strength, joy, honor, freedom, loyalty, and realism. They do this so that the follower would be free to live their lives, and so that any decision they make would be their own, and no one else's. They also accept that there is no such thing as a consistent Good or Evil. What might be bad for you could be good for someone else, and visa versa, so judgments primarily fell upon the people involved.

    Another major difference is has with modern religions, is the fact that they belief that the World and Universe came about without the help of Gods, and that the Gods themselves only came into existence at the same time as us Humans. These thoughts can be very jarring when compared to almost any other European religion, and have often caused doubts to be shed onto its followers from other religions. Yet, this is one of the most unique religions in the world, and can easily be introduced into your life today. ┬áIn fact, you can often find scientists or other likeminded people performing some level of the religion due to these allowances!

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