Heathenry, also known as Heathenism or Germanic Neopaganism, is a modern spiritual and religious movement that revives and practices the pre-Christian traditions of the Germanic peoples. This includes the Norse (Scandinavian), Anglo-Saxon, and Continental Germanic cultures. Followers of Heathenry are often called Heathens.

Key Concepts of Heathenry

  1. Polytheism: Heathenry is polytheistic, meaning it involves the belief in multiple deities. These include Norse gods and goddesses like Odin, Thor, Freya, and Frigg, as well as many other lesser-known deities.
  2. Ancestor Veneration: Respect and honor for one’s ancestors are important in Heathenry. Many Heathens believe in maintaining a spiritual connection with their ancestors.
  3. Sacred Texts and Myths: While Heathenry does not have a “holy book,” it draws heavily from ancient texts like the “Eddas” and “Sagas,” which are collections of Norse myths, poems, and stories.
  4. Rituals and Blóts: Heathen practices include rituals known as blóts, which involve offerings to the gods, ancestors, and nature spirits. These can be simple or elaborate and are often accompanied by feasting and toasting.
  5. The Importance of Community: Many Heathens practice their faith in groups known as kindreds, hearths, or tribes. These communities come together to celebrate, worship, and support each other.

Heathenry in Everyday Life

  • Living in Harmony with Nature: Heathens often place a strong emphasis on environmentalism and living in a way that honors and respects the natural world.
  • Moral and Ethical Conduct: Heathen ethics are often based on principles like honor, courage, hospitality, and integrity. These values are derived from the heroic codes found in ancient texts and sagas.

Festivals and Celebrations

Heathenry includes the celebration of various festivals throughout the year, many of which are tied to the seasons and agricultural cycles. Examples include Yule (winter solstice), Ostara (spring equinox), and Midsummer.

Modern Heathen Communities

Heathenry today is practiced in many different forms and interpretations. Some Heathens strive for historical accuracy in their practices, while others incorporate more modern elements. The community is diverse, with groups and individuals having their own specific beliefs and customs.

Heathenry offers a connection to the ancient beliefs and practices of the Germanic peoples, with a focus on community, respect for nature, and honoring the past.


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