Questions about Asatru

detail of an image stone with Thor, Odin and Freyr

detail of an image stone with Thor, Odin and Freyr (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A little backstory to hopefully explain my situation: I grew up in a Protestant Christian family and while I remain attracted to the idea of a God full of love, I am no longer certain that the Judeo-Christian God is like that. I just am not sure.

I am a graduate student of history. While I am not working with Anglo-Saxon or Norse history in particular I have nonetheless been drawn to it for quite some time (admittedly, the Bernard Cornwell books would probably do that to anybody). Nonetheless, in my research for my thesis I came across the idea of reconstructed religions of the past – notably Asatru. I started reading about it and something about it just drew me to it. After stumbling across “Anglo-Saxon Paganism for Beginners” by Swain Wodening I immediately purchased it on my Kindle (as buying a hard copy would surely create drama at home) and found it all very intriguing. I am interested in perhaps participating in a folk religion that is tied to me specifically, but is nonetheless inclusive and does not attempt to consign other gods or faiths to dust as does the Judeo-Christian faiths. Furthermore, the idea of being devoted to a particular God or Goddess is attractive to me. I am interested in hearing anybody’s experiences with Asatru.

1) I have been reading a fair bit of these forums. It seems to me that a whole lot of people have had what seems to be direct conversations (” “) with Gods and Goddesses from various pantheons. I’m wondering how you start that type of conversation, and what exactly is it like?

2) In the same vein, after reading much about Odin in both the above-mentioned book and Paxson’s “Essential Asatru” (as well as posts on this site) it strikes me that Odin seems to be a very scary figure – or one who you should not approach lightly. This is disappointing as I was originally drawn to him because he would seem to be an excellent patron for scholars and those who deeply value learning. I was wondering if anyone could expound further on Odin.

3) This is slightly embarrassing considering I do not even consider myself necessarily an Asatruar yet (just kind of probing and interested) but last night I prayed to Odin. It was short and it was respectful and it lacked an altar or a sacrifice but I did ask him to show himself to me somehow “tonight or soon.” Tangentially, how does everyone feel about silent or “quiet” prayer? My living situation pretty much demands that if I were to become an Asatruar having an altar would be impossible.

Overall, I am wondering if Asatru or some variation of it is right for me. I’m certainly open to other ideas if anybody has them and am eager to learn about other Pagan faiths. Thanks for any feedback!

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