bonfire freya-day: what is the difference between asatru , odinism , theodism...?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Asatru is pan-Germanic, meaning basically that if it's in the Lore anywhere, it's in the folkway. This is the name given to the revival/reconstruction of Norse pre-xian religion in Iceland, America, and Scandinavia (where it is spelled *Asetro,* and also called Forn Sed, Forn Sidr, etc.)

    Odinism is a variation of modern Folkish heathenry which was revived in England at about the same time as American and Icelandic Asatru. It's a modern expression of the Elder religion that seems a bit archetype prone from what I've read on their sites.

    In this country, of course, there's also a white supremacist version of heathen belief which calls itself Odinism. In prison culture, Odinism is the heathen version of Christian Identity.

    Theodism is an oathbound, hierarchical, and usually culturally/geographically specific version of heathenry. The first theods were specifically Anglo-Saxon; Normannii, Frisian, and Saxon theods have sprung up since then.

    There is also Irminenschaft, which is a continental Germanic approach to heathenry, based on a somewhat different body of folklore and custom.

    Finally, there is tribalism/neotribalism, which is theodism without the sacral kingship element, essentially . . . tribalist kindreds tend to focus on developing local custom and local thew appropriate to their groups.

    I would list reconstructionism as well, but really, it tends to be an *approach* rather than a *group.* Those of us who've gotten tired of the heavy borrowing from Wicca /neopaganism or the high UPG content in classic modern Asatru and gone looking for something with a little more meat on its bones and some real historical grounding generally end up here. *G*

  • 1 decade ago

    Asatru tends to be related to Norse/Icelandic heathenism. I will claim it as well as Heathen but I prefer Heathen for my own reasons.

    My kindred is Theodist. They are Angl-Saxon based and have a strict heirarchy from thrall to Sacred King I think it is called.

    Odinist tend to be given wide berth. While there are very much Odinist who are not WP freaks, a great deal of the are. They are usually approached with caution and "felt out" so to speak. Still, there were a great many Odin Cults, especially around the come of Christianity and my gothi theorizes that Christianiy might not have gotten a foot hold if there hadn't been mysticized cults to Odin.

    Whole different debate. :)

    Source(s): Norse Heathen
  • 1 decade ago

    There are no fixed definitions, but I believe that the following ones are widely held:

    Asatru is Germanic Heathenism based on the Scandinavian countries, especially Iceland, as that is where most of the surviving lore was written down. It tends to be non-hierarchical and egalitarian. Remember, Iceland was a democracy for centuries. Odinism can mean Heathen practice focused on Odin. Odinism can in some places have racial overtones and in that case it does not mean dedication to Odin above other Gods. In the USA, most Heathen prison inmates, it seems, self-identify as Odinists. Many, but by no means all incarcerated Heathens see race as integral to their faith. Remember that US prisons are heavily polarized racially. Theodism is tribal Heathenism. Groups are hierarchical, and occasionally have a sacral king. A web of oaths within the group is common. A Theod can be based on any Germanic culture, for example there are Anglo-Saxon, Norman, and Swedish ones that I'm aware of.

  • no
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Much of it is personal preference as "names" go. It just happened that most of the people with the title "Asatru" in my area (Western Massachusetts) were really more Wiccan than Norse heathen, and didn't think that it sounded Macho enough for them. Also, several groups had Lokians or thought that true warriors only needed to go to do-jos a couple of times a week to be einharjar.

    So, I took the name "Odinist".

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