Foundations of the Faith

The Foundation of our faith is the core of the Norse World view, such as it has been handed down to us from our ancestors in the form of Heathen custom and mythical texts. The Worldview held by our forefathers prior to the advent of Christian might, and such heathen custom as has since survived.

"the belief which our fathers and forefathers had before,
first in the burning age and now in the mound age;
many of them have been much [more] eminent than we,
but nevertheless this belief has been good for us. !"

"átrúnaði þeim, er feðr várir hafa haft fyrir oss ok alt forellri,
fyrst um brunaöld, en nú um haugsöld,
ok hafa þeir verit miklu göfgari en vér, ok
hefir oss þó dugat þessi átrúnaðr."
(Asbjørn of Medalhus at the Frostathing. 900´s)

Our forefathers did not give a name to their worldview. They just lived in accord with the higher powers, as they experienced them within, above, and around themselves.
In modern times, we have used the terms Asatro, Heathenism, or the former customs, or forn sidr. Asatro denotes our loyalty to the Aesir and Vanir, Heathenism means we are polytheistic in our beliefs, and forn sidr reminds us that we are adhering to the ancient traditions of the Norse people.
"Hail Gods! Hail Goddesses!
Hail bountiful Earth!
Grace us both with the gift of speech
And leech*) hands while we live."
"Heilir Æsir
heilar Ásynjar
heil sjá hin fjölnyta fold
mál ok manvit
gefið okr mærum tveim
ok læknishendr meðan lifum!"
(Exerpts from Sigdrífumál 5)

Our world view is built on the wisdom found in the texts of the elder, or poetic, Edda, which, with its wealth of complex metaphor, shows us the coherence of our world, as well as the grandeur of nature.
Our worldview is inspired by the heathen traditions and artistic expression of ancient times as well as of folklore.

"Holy is the land,
which I see lying
to Æsir and Alfar near..!"
"land er heilagt
er ek liggia se
Ásum ok Álfum nær...!"
(Exerpts from Grímnismál 4)

We honor Sun, Moon, and Earth, for the strength they give to us.
We honor the Aesir and the Vanir, as the organizing and governing forces of our Universe.
We honor the helpful Vaettir, the ever-present spiritual beings in nature.
We honor the Fylgja, the spirits that follow and protect each one of us.
We honor the Norns, Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld, who set out the framework of our destiny.
"Thence come maidens,
much knowing,
three from the hall,
which under that tree stands;
Urd hight the one,
the second Verdandi, -
on a tablet they graved -
Skuld the third.
Laws they established,
life allotted
to the sons of men;
destinies pronounced!"
" Þaðan koma meyjar
margs vitandi
þrjár ór þeim sæ,
er und þolli stendr;
Urð hétu eina,
aðra Verðandi,
- skáru á skíði, -
Skuld ina þriðju.
Þær lög lögðu,
þær líf kuru
alda börnum,
örlög seggja."
(Exerpts from Völuspá 20)
We revere the ash of Yggdrasil, the world tree by Urd’s well.
We revere the well of Mimir, the fountain of wisdom.
We revere Ginnungagap, the mighty void, whence all springs forth.
We revere our kin and our forefathers.
"Spirit they possessed not,
sense they had not,
blood nor motive powers,
nor goodly colour.
Spirit gave Odin,
sense gave Hoenir,
blood gave Lodur,
and goodly colour!"
"Önd þau né áttu,
óð þau né höfðu,
lá né læti
né litu góða;
önd gaf "ðinn,
óð gaf Hænir,
lá gaf Lóðurr
ok litu góða."
(Exerpts from Völuspá 18)

We believe that Ask and Embla were created side by side, with breath of life, spirit, and life force given to them by the Aesir.
We believe in the Jotnar as beings from the dawn of time.
We believe that we, from the moment of our birth, are subject to the laws of Nature, and that we, as a part of Nature, some day will die and leave Midgaard in the hands of the living.
"Cattle die,
kindred die,
we ourselves also die;
but I know one thing
that never dies, -
judgement on each one dead!"

"Deyr fé,
deyja frændr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn
at aldrei deyr:
dómr um dauðan hvern!"

(Exerpts from Hávamál 77)
We hold the belief, that everyone is responsible for his own actions in relation to himself, to the community, to destiny, and to the powers that be.
We hold the belief, that life is best led according to the ethics set forth in the Havamal, as well as the advice given to us by the Regin.
We hold the belief that a blót**) is to be done from the Heart, with respect and with faithfulness to those we propose to honour.
We hold the belief, that Asatro, as described in the above, is the faith best suited as the culture-bearer for the Norse people.
"He is happy,
who in himself possesses
fame and wit while living;
for bad counsels
have oft been received
from another’s breast!"
"Sá er sæll
er sjálfr of á
lof ok vit, meðan lifir;
því at ill ráð
hefr maðr oft þegit
annars brjóstum ór.!"
(Exerpts from Hávamál 9)

These beliefs, we hold to be the foundations of our faith!

This text has been translated by Dorrit Hansen, Vancouver, BC, Canada. The exerpts from Havamal, etc, have been borrowed with permission from the website of Northvegr. The only exception to Nortvegr is the words of Asbjørn of Medalhus at the Frostathing. This has been copied from the site: Stav Academy