What Is Odinism?
Odinism is the religion of the old gods that was practiced in England, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Holland, Belgium and Germany before christianity came to those countries. Odinism is now experiencing a major revival.
Who Are The Old Gods?
The gods and goddesses are known as the Aesir, and include Odin, Thor, Tyr, Frey and Freya amongst many others.
In recent times some of the gods have been turned into comic-book superheroes by Marvel, but those characters are not accurate representations of the gods, as the gods are extra-dimensional energy-beings, who can choose to take a temporary, humanoid form to visit earth, but are not stuck in that form, as it is not their true form.
The comic-book characters, by contrast, are portrayed as humanoid aliens, not gods.
Did The Aesir – The Old Gods – Create The Universe?
No! The Universe was never created. It is a fact that energy can never be created or destroyed; it just changes form, so the energy that makes up the universe (and matter is energy) has always been, and always will be.
In fact, time itself only exists within the universe; or, more accurately, space-time is the movement of the universe. There is no time other than the universe; so any idea of a time before the universe, literally, makes no sense.
The Aesir were born within the universe, as part of the universe, the same as everything else. But just as we have more power to change the world than a dog does, so the Aesir have enormously more power to control and change the universe than we do.
Why Did People In Odinist Countries Become Christians?
The kings and rulers of Odinist countries realised that by becoming Christians they would have more power over the people, as Odinists have no central body of authority, since every Odinist has the ability to contact the gods directly – so they will not accept a high priest or church telling them what to do.
Whereas, under Christianity, the kings declared that they were God’s representative on Earth. This meant that an order from the king was considered an order from God. And an attack on a king was considered an attack on God.
This, of course, gave the kings a lot of power; so they converted to Christianity and ordered the common people to do the same.
Most people refused to convert, so Christian priests, soldiers, and mobs used tactics ranging from bribery to threats to kill people’s children, and even sometimes murdering parents or children, to force people to convert to Christianity. Many who refused were murdered.
Why Are There Not Many Records Of Odinist Practice?
At the time, hardly anyone could read or write. Writing was very new, and not part of everyday life. Most of the writing on Odinism was written by Christian monks who, of course, tried to cast Odinism in a bad light.
However, some valuable ancient texts which help us to understand how the old religion was practiced include the Prose Edda, the Havamal – or Words Of The High One (Odin) – and the old English poem Beowulf.
How Does Someone Practice Odinism?
Odinists sacrifice their time, energy, and property to the god or gods of their choice. The gods, in turn, reward those people by protecting them, guiding them, and generally making their lives better.
Odinists also live by the Nine Noble Virtues which are: Courage, Truth, Honour, Fidelity, Discipline, Hospitality, Industriousness, Self-Reliance, and Perseverance, as these qualities benefit our lives and please the gods.
Odinists also have religious ceremonies, such as a baby naming ceremony where water is poured over the baby’s head. This was later copied by the Christians. And a wedding ceremony where the bride and groom make vows to each other while holding a large oath-ring, and then exchange finger-rings as a reminder of this act. This was also later copied by the Christians.
Any oath sworn on an oath-ring is said to be witnessed by the gods, and an oath-breaker is deemed to be an outcast by the gods and by Odinists.
How Does An Odinist Make A Sacrifice?
To make a sacrifice is to offer and give up something that you don’t want to, or it’s difficult to, give up. For example, you may be eating your dinner and have a couple of potatoes left that you really want to eat. Instead of eating them, you can choose to sacrifice them to Odin instead.
I personally do this by saying, “Lord Odin, Odin Allfather, Odin God of Gods, Odin God of wisdom, Odin God of warriors, Odin God of magic, I am loyal to you and thankful to you Lord Odin. Please accept this (whatever I am sacrificing) as a sacrifice by me, and an offering to you Lord Odin. Please also accept this ceremony as a sacrifice by me and an offering to you Lord Odin. Please use the energy and intention from this (whatever I am sacrificing) and this ceremony to power you and empower you. May you be the chief and greatest god of them all. Hail Odin Allfather. Then I dispose of or destroy the object of sacrifice.
The most important part of the sacrifice is that you can only sacrifice something that you want. It is the intention of putting the god or gods before yourself that is important, not the object of sacrifice. The gods obviously have no use for, or interest in, potatoes or any other material things, but they reward your good intention.
So, to use the same example, if you were full up and didn’t want to eat any more, but still had some potatoes left, you couldn’t sacrifice them, as giving away something that you don’t actually want and would have thrown away anyway doesn’t mean anything does it?
Many Odinists celebrate feast days by sacrificing a horn full of mead, an ancient alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey.
You can also give up your time and energy to do something for the gods as a form of sacrifice. To take the time to strengthen your mind and body in order to better help the Aesir is a worthy form of devotion; or to give up your time to teach others about Odinism is a great sacrifice. Just remember, that it is your intention to do something to honour the gods that matters.
Are There Odinist Priests?
Odinists do not need priests as a form of authority, as all Odinists can have a direct relationship with the god or gods of their choosing. Some experienced Odinists, known as Gothis, do act as guides. Gothis take the lead in ceremonies including baby-naming and handfasting (wedding) ceremonies, but they do so by invitation and agreement and have no authority over other Odinists.
How Does Someone Become An Odinist?
Technically you are an Odinist if you believe in, and are loyal to, the Aesir.
Either privately, or in the presence of other Odinists, pledge allegiance to Odin and the Aesir. Then take the time and make the effort to sacrifice to the Aesir and live by the Nine Noble Virtues. That’s all!
A lot of Odinists meet regularly to practice together. You can generally find like minded people and groups online, but it isn’t necessary to be part of a group in order to be a true, practising Odinist and receive the favour and guidance of the gods.
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