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What is satr

What is satr?
satr is a Norse term meaning literally a faith or belief in Gods, specifically the Old Norse and
Germanic Gods known collectively as the sir. satr has its roots in ancient customs and
beliefs, although it is best known from the Viking age when the old world view and the emerging
Christian faith clashed and which was the period that the stories and customs were written down.
As with many other ethnic or folk religions there was no specific name for the religion, although
satr, Vor tru, "our faith," or Forn Sed, "ancient customs/ways" are phrases/words that are used
in the modern world to describe this faith. The religion was part of the culture, and the beliefs
revealed not only in the mythology, but also in the customs, ethics, and laws, much of which has
survived as a cultural ethos.
Agreed to January 24, 2001

Who are the Gods and Goddesses of satr?
Then spoke Gangleri: "Which are the Aesir that men ought to believe in?" Hrr said: "There are
twelve Aesir whose nature is divine." Then spoke Jafnhrr: "No less holy are the Asyniur, nor is
their power less."
These are the words that introduce the gods and goddesses of the Norse and Germanic people to
King Gangleri in Snorri Sturluson's Edda. Here we find the a listing of the Aesir (gods), Asynjur
(goddesses) and other beings of the Norse mythology and brief stories presented from the ancient
mythology in an account written down at the end of the Viking Age. First named is Odin, his son
Balder, Thor and his wife, Sif; Tyr, Njord and his son and daughter, Freyr and Freya, Bragi,
Heimdall, Hod, Vidar, Ali, Ullr, Loki, Aegir and his wife, Ran. Also named are many of the
goddesses, who include, among others, Frigg, Freya, Lofn, Var, and Skadi The mythology also
preserves an account a story of two warring groups of deities, the Aesir and the Vanir who
pledged a truce with one another and are referred to now collectively as the Aesir.
In English speaking countries four of the days of the week are named after these gods. Tuesday
comes from Tiu's day who is also known as Tyr. Wednesday comes from a compound meaning
"Odin's day," Thursday from "Thor's day" with Friday from "Freya's day." Throughout
Scandinavia and northern Europe we find places that were dedicated anciently and named for the
gods and goddesses who are still honored in this day and age.
1/30/01

What are the beliefs of satr?
satr beliefs are rooted in the past and in the sacred mythos and cosmology of the Old Norse
and Germanic people. As an ethnic or folk religion the authoritative source of belief that can
legitimately be considered satr are the precedents found in the traditions, myths, folklore,
literature, laws, customs, and cultural concepts which were shaped by belief in the sir and other
supernatural beings and powers. There is no historical founder or prophet who made revealed
pronouncements of law or belief. There is no central authority that lays down dogma or tenets.
There is no injunction to proselytize, or any precedent for intolerance of other beliefs.
This deep respect for tradition and custom is based on a underlying concept, rlog, that is central
to the cosmology and belief system of the old Norse and Germanic people, as well as satr
today. . The word is a compound, 'r,' something that is beyond or "primal" or "above/beyond the
ordinary" and "leggja," "to lay," "to place," or "to do." It has the meaning of primal or earliest
law, the earliest things accomplished or done. These things are sacred and provide the foundation
of the Old Norse beliefs and rites of satr. They are symbolized in the mythology by the World
Tree, which grows at the Well of Urdh or Wyrd. The norns water the World Tree with the water
from the Well of Urdh which deposits layers of sediment over the roots, demonstrating the active,
accretionary, growing nature of reality.
The perception of being is also a reflection of this basic concept. Like the tree, a person continues
to grow and change through experience and study, with each new experience or knowledge
growing out of that which was experienced or learned before. A particularly numinous quality
called hamingja, "luck" or "fortune", can also be accumulated and passed on to ones descendents.
In spiritual terms, this legacy can refer to wisdom, personality, or talent, while in practical terms,
this can include one's wealth, reputation and external family ties.
2/15/2001

How is satr organized?
satr begins with individuals and families who may associate in small groups called flagi, or
lagur (fellowships), godhordhs, kindreds, garths and hearths, among other historically based
terms. They may be entirely independent or may be affiliated in or with a larger organization. A
few larger organizations may be further allianced with one another.
The most common term for an satr religious leader is Goi (masculine form) and Gyia
(feminine form), Goar (plural). The word refers to a position comparable to that of a priest, but
is translated from the Old Norse as chieftain, as are some similar terms such as Drighten that may
signify essentially the same thing but with more administrative duties in larger groups.
2/17/2001

Are satr and Odinism the same thing?
There are satrar and Odinists who feel that they are the same religion, while many others who
are satrar or Odinist feel there are distinct differences. The term "Odinist" refers to an
individual who is primarily dedicated to Odin, and as such could also consider themselves satr,
Wiccan, Neo-pagan or simply Odinist, depending on the rites, fellowship and beliefs that they
express their dedication to that deity (and associated deities) in.

What are the rites and ceremonies of satr?
The rites and ceremonies of satr are based on cultural observances of the old Norse and
Germanic people, many of which continued in the culture and societies that followed without a
recognition of the sacral aspect that they were imbued with in the beginning. One such ritual is
the highly ceremonial toast following a formal meal, which parallels the sumbel (ON sumbl). The
sumbel is a ceremony that includes drinking communally and offering up inspired speech that
was binding in terms of oath and intent, as illustrated in Beowulf and other Norse/Germanic
literature.
A blt, sacrifice or blessing, is an offering to deity or other supernatural beings. The offering may
be a simple sharing of food or drink by an individual to a more elaborate community ceremony.
These ceremonies may be performed indoors, or outside in a natural setting.
Additional ceremonies include the naming of a child and its acceptance into the family (ausa
vatni), burials, healing, blessings in time of need and divination among others.
2/25/2001

Is there magic in satr?
Like many other ethnic or folk religions there are magical components in satr based on a
perception of an interactivity and interconnectivity between the natural and supernatural world
that can be effected by men as well as gods through various methods. In the Eddas, sagas, and
other literature we find both men and gods depicted using and teaching galdr (magical chants and
songs), sei (a shamanistic magic involving altered states of consciousness and communication
with spirits and gods) and runes (referring to the Norse/Germanic alphabet which had magical
associations). Divination and auguries were also an important part of the spiritual and religious
views of the Old Norse and Germanic people.
In modern terms, seidh, galdr, and runes are incorporated in various ways and to varying degrees
in both personal and community practice of the religion. As in the past, many do not practice nor
necessarily believe in magic or see it as a necessary expression of the faith today.
3/1/01

How does one become satr?
As with any religion, the answer to this question depends more on the individual asking it than
anything else. Essentially, you are satr when you feel yourself to be satr. Others will
recognize you as satr when you behave in a manner consistent with a belief in the Aesir, and
indicative of a desire to meet their standards for a "good person". Some feel that a rite of passage,
an oath, or a formal renunciation of your previous life is necessary to indicate your new devotion.
Others feel that this is not necessary at all - that the gods know the sincerity with which
somebody claims to be satr. In general, if you can say "I am satr", and really mean it, you
have become satr.
3/23/01

satr FAQ
The satr FAQ was produced in a consensus discussion with the participation of the following
individuals as part of an effort to create a moderated newsgroup. While the newsgroup is far from
being a reality, I'm sure that many of you will recognize the level of cooperation and effort to
produce such a document. Please forward and use as appropriate.
Regards,
Gydhia Susan Granquist

The FAQ, as published here, was produced by consensus collaboration among and by the
following individuals and representatives of various Asatru and heathen organizations:
Susan Granquist, Irminsul Aettir, Greg Shetler, Nik Warrenson, New Zealand satr Fellowship
satrufellesskapet_Bifrost , Hraesvelg Odinsson, Eagle Kindred, Asatru Alliance Rorik Radford,
Steven McNallen, Asatru Folk Assembly , Valgard Murray, Asatru Alliance Jenny Blaine, The
Troth. Bil Linzie, Steward, The Troth, AFA Laurence Hiner Wodalf@aol.com Dirk Buere, Mike
Dodd
The FAQ archived on sra_thing@yahoogroups.com as part of an agreement to write a FAQ to be
used in the effort create a moderated Asatru newsgroup. The proceedings, discussions and
reasoning, are archived in the mailing list files, which are public. It is hereby placed in the public
domain as our gift to to the Gods and the community of Asatru.

Distribution is welcome; please include the above notice
For more information contact the Pagan Pride Project www.paganpride.org - (317) 916-9115.
PMB #119, 133 West Market Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204-2801

v BASIC BELIEFSv
Although there are many variations in beliefs and practices
within this faith, satrers all share adefining personal
loyalty to, or "Troth" with, the gods and goddesses of the
North, such as Odin, Thor, Frigga, the land wights (spirits),
and many others; adeep respect for their Germanic
religious, cultural and historical heritage; and astrong
determination to practice the moral principles followed by
their predecessors.
satrers take their knowledge of the gods and the
universe from"the lore" (the Prose Edda, the poems of the
Poetic Edda, heroic and family sagas, the historical record,
and folklore); fromscience (history, anthropology,
linguistics, archaeology, etc.); and fromtheir own analysis,
insights, and revelations.
satrers work to establish and maintain right relationships
with those around us: family, community, the gods (our
elder kin), the natural world, and wyrd (fate). satr
spirituality is not separate fromeveryday life, but informs
it. satrers see Earth as living, or speak of her as
personified by adeity.
satrers are true polytheists and know all the gods as real
entities with separate and distinct, rounded personalities.
Some satrers are called most strongly to the worship of
one or more particular gods within the pantheon.
Magic is not part of satr worship. In fact, many
satrers don't believe in magic at all. Others, however,
practice various kinds of workings (such as rune divination)
as asupplement to their religious practices.
v DEATH AND THE AFTERLIFE v
satrers believe that your fate in the afterlife is based on
how you lived, how you died, and the disposition of your
remains. Some go to dwell in the hall of one of the gods in
Asgard. Some go to Hel, apleasant if somewhat dull place,
to await reincarnation or the end of this world cycle. Some
continue to inhabit this world as guardian spirits for the
land or for their families.
v WORSHIP v
satr worship may be agroup observance or aprivate
offering.
A blt (rhymes with "boat") is an offering of food or drink,
commonly mead or ale, to the gods. A blt can be as
simple as pouring out abottle of beer to the gods in your
backyard, or it can be an elaborate community ceremony.
However, the intent is always the same. An exchange of
gifts creates abond between two people. In ablt,
satrers thank the gods for their gifts and offer gifts in
return. This celebrates and strengthens the bond between
the gods and humankind.
A sumbel is aseries of ritualized toasts. The participants sit
in acircle, and avessel of drink (adrinking horn full of
mead is traditional) is passed around the circle at least three
times. Words spoken in sumbel are witnessed by gods and
humans alike and carry great weight. The rite of sumbel
can be aprofound experience that creates bonds of
community among those who share in it.
satrers regard the gods as honored senior kin, so they
offer themtheir best. It is customary, but not required, to
use alcoholic beverages in blt and sumbel and to share
feasts of meat and grain.
Asatruers hold blts and sumbels to mark seasonal holidays
and observe life cycles (such as births and weddings) and
as needed to give thanks and request assistance. They also
commonly hold public ceremonies to witness important
oaths.
The most common ritual objects are apatch of ground
where offerings may be placed in contact with the earth; a
drinking horn; aThor-hammer; an offering bowl; an oath
ring; and various god-icons such as astatue, spear, sword,
spindle, or Brisingamen (golden necklace). Those who
practice rune magic will have aset of rune tiles that they
have cut themselves.
Most satrers also have copies of several books, including
editions of the Prose Eddaand the Poetic Edda,
Heimskringla, and various other sagas and references.
There is no sacred text in satr, however.
v HOLIDAYS v
Different kindreds observe different holidays. There are,
however, three nearly-universal observances.
Yule is the only really universal satr holiday. Typically
runs fromDecember 21 (Mothers Night) and lasts for 12
days or more. This is the most important holiday of the
year. Many traditional Yule symbols have been absorbed
by the Christian celebration of Christmas: evergreen trees,
Yule logs, holly, etc.
Ostara is typically observed around the spring equinox
with decorated eggs, outdoor festivals, and bonfires. This
holiday celebrates the earth's reawakening after the long,
fallow winter.
Winternights is typically observed at the beginning of
Autumn. This holiday celebrates the harvest and
contemplates the beginning of amore enclosed part of the
yearly cycle.
There is generally no specific god or goddess associated
with aparticular holiday. Each group or individual honors
those that seemmost appropriate to them.
v STANDARDSOF CONDUCT v
satrers are expected to
w honor the gods with regular offerings;
w respect and honor the land and the family;
w live "tr" according to astrict moral code based on
honor, courage, and hospitality;
w keep all promises and sworn oaths;
w take bold and decisive action when called for;
w set high goals for themselves;
w be autonomous and yet interdependent with the rest of
the satr community; and
w take responsibility for their actions and the
consequences of those actions.
v SOURCEs v
w ThePoeticEdda, The basis for the Norse Myths as we
know them.
w TheProseEdda,by Snorri Sturluson.
w TheGermania, by Tacitus. Translated by Anthony
Faulkes. Contains valuable first century C.E.
description of Vanic worship.
w Heimskringla, theLivesof theNorseKings, by Snorri
Sturluson. Lots of very valuable information in this
collection of histories, including accounts of
oath-takings.
w GodsandMythsof NorthernEurope, by HildaRoderick
Ellis Davidson. Surveys all of the myths, and has
references to even the least known deities.
w RitesandReligionof theAnglo-Saxons, by Gale Owen.
Excellent reference for the Anglo-Saxon branch of the
old religion.
w Our Troth, online book on the gods and practices, at
http:/ / www.thetroth.org/ resources/ ourtroth/
w Ravenbok, online book on the gods and practices, at
http:/ / www.webcom.com/ ~lstead/ Ravenbok.html
v For mor e inf or mation v
Frigga's Web Association
P. O. Box 143, Trimble, Missouri, 64492
EIN 73-1500399
http:/ / www.friggasweb.org/
v
Vitu r enn, ea hvat?
Would you know more, or what?
Asatru-U
http:/ / www.asatru-u.org/
v HISTORY v
satr is the modern revitalization of the indigenous
religion of Northern Europe.
This religion was almost completely displaced by
Christianity in the middle ages. Although the religion was
no longer practiced, many aspects survived in the culture.
The old religion left as its rich legacy much of our
traditional legal and ethical systems and our folk customs.
Icelanders never forgot their old religion, and in 1972,
satr was recognized as alegitimate religion by the
Icelandic government. Since the early 1970's, the religion
has been in aperiod of rapid growth in Europe, North
America, Australia, and New Zealand.
satr in North Americawas formally organized in 1973.
Since then, anumber of independent kindreds and other
organizations have been formed (in North Americaand
elsewhere).
v ORGANIZATION v
satr worship groups, called kindreds (also godhords,
hearths, garths, or fellowships), are essentially autonomous.
Some kindreds are associated with national or regional
organizations which usually operate as federations of
kindreds. There is no central authority.
v ROLE OF MINISTERS v
satr religious leaders are commonly called "gothi" (male
form) and "gythia" (female form). Gothis/ gythias are
selected by the kindreds or communities that they serve;
kindreds may have one or more gothis/ gythias. Each
kindred has its own notion of what role agothi/ gythia
plays, but generally gothis/ gythias develop and lead rituals
and handle kindred administrative chores. All gothis and
gythias are expected to be familiar with the lore and to be
able to lead ceremonies.
v
satr
in Brief
v
Prepared by
Reeves Hal l of
Fr igga's Web
September 2002
satr (OW-sah-true) means true to the sir, true
in the sense of family loyalty. This defining personal
loyalty is commonly found amongst satrars, as well
as a deep respect for our Germanic religious, cultural
and historical heritage. Open to worthy folks regardless
of race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, satr
celebrates our religious and cultural heritage, rather
than promotingpolitical, racial, or social agendas.
Although descended from the culture of the Norse,
Germans, Anglo-Saxons, and others, satr today is no
more European than Hinduism is Indian,
Christianity is Jewish, or Islam is Arabic.
satrars are polytheistic, considering themselves
the spiritual kin of the gods of the North, which consist
of the tribe of the sir: Odin andFrigg, Thor andSif,
Tyr andZisa, and others; and the Vanir: Freyja and
Freyr, Njord andNerthus, and others. Most also honor
the spirits of the ancestors and of the land and home.
satr is a living, evolving religion reconstructed
from the native religions of the Germanic peoples. It
grew from the same Indo-European source as the Celts,
the Greeks, and others. This ancient, shared ancestry
has resulted in some superficial similarities. All were
influenced by the religious traditions of their ancestors
and are now independent traditions.
satr groups are known as Kindreds, Hearths,
Garths, and by other names. Most satrar prefer to
work in groups but many live too far away from others
to do so while others choose to remain solitary.
Traditionally, a community leader or clan chieftain
acted as gothi/goi (priest) or gythja/gyja (priestess) at
public feasts. They hosted feasts and lead rituals. In the
home, heads of the household led rituals, everyone was
his or her own priest or priestess. Today, the gothi or
gythja is dedicated to the study of our ancient lore and
strives for inspiration from the gods of the North, yet
everyone is still their own priest or priestess. The gothi
or gythja is the host who provides the place for the
Kindred to gather and makes sure the feast is in order
and that there will be mead and ale. They are known
not only by their leadership but also by their generosity
and hospitality.
The Nine Noble Virtues
A modern convention popular with modern Heathens.
Courage - Truth - Honor
Loyalty - Hospitality - Discipline
Industriousness - Self-reliance - Perseverance
Some Holidays
Disting - A holiday honoring the Disir, the female
ancestors, celebrated about February 2.
Sigrblt - Feast beginning the summer half of the year,
the Spring Equinox, for success in the coming season.
Ostara/Easter/Sumarml - A celebration of the first
day of summer which, in Icelandic law, always
began on the Thursday between the 8th and 15th of
April. Now often celebrated around the Spring Equinox.
May Eve/May Day - A common Germanic festival
celebrated from April 30 through May 1.
Midsummer - A folk-holiday throughout the Germanic
lands, especially Scandinavia, on the Summer Solstice.
Freyfaxi/Freysblot/Freysfest/Loaffest - A celebration
of the seasons harvest in honor of Freyr on July 31.
Winter Nights - Celebration of the harvest in honor of
the disir, female ancestors and fertility spirits, often cel-
ebrated on the Saturday between October 11th and 17th.
Yuletide - Beginning at Mother Night, the eve of the
Winter Solstice, a celebration honoring the ancestors
and family, and continuing through Twelfth Night, a
celebration where New Years resolutions are sworn.
Blt
The two forms of ceremony are the Blt, a rit-
ual blessing or feast held for specific religious obser-
vances and as needed; and the Sumbel, a formalized rit-
ual toasting held whenever there is a need.
Gamlinginns Nine-Point Blt Plan
1. The Gathering
The participants gather and arrange themselves.
2. The Hallowing/Warding
The area is made spiritually safe.
3. The Rede/Meaning
An explanation of the purpose of the ceremony.
4. The Signaling
A signal is sent to those the ceremony is to honor.
5. The Loading/Hallowing
The mead is made holy.
6. The Blessing
The altar and participants are sprinkled with mead.
7. The Sharing
Each drinks a small quantity of mead, then pours the
rest into the blessing bowl.
8. The Giving/Earthing
The mead is poured onto the ground from the bowl.
9. The Closing
The ceremony is ended.
History of the Heathen Revival
1611 CE: Johannes Bureus of Sweden, advisor to
King Gustavus Adolphus, begins drawing and interpret-
ing Swedens runestones. Many have been lost and are
only known to us through his drawings.
1622 CE: Ole Worm of Denmark collects reports on
runestones and other antique monuments of Denmark
and the Northern countries. Bureus and Worm may be
thought of as the founders of modern runic studies.
1642 CE: Bishop Brynjlfur gifts the Codex
Regius to King Frederick III. Afterwards, the Eddic
poems began to be published and more widely known.
1790 CE: The Romantic movement inspired
Germans and Scandinavians seeking their national
identity in their own origins and resulted in much of the
early literature being translated.
1818 CE: The Brothers Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm,
publish their collection of fairy tales.
1844 CE: Jacob Grimm publishes Teutonic
Mythology, a study of medieval Norse literatures rela-
tion to Germanic folklore.
1874 CE: The King of Denmark grants the people
of Iceland freedom of religion.
1875 CE: The cathedral of Reykjavik, Iceland is the
site of the first public satr Blt since 1000 CE.
1907 CE: German painter and writer Ludwig
Fahrenkrog founds the Germanic Glaubens -
Gemeinschaft (GGG), a German Heathen group.
1933-1945 CE: In the Nazi era, Heathens face per-
secution by both the Axis and Allies. Their groups are
forbidden to meet and some leaders are jailed.
1954 CE: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien,
a Christian and scholar of Germanic philology, is pub-
lished. Tolkiens Ring Saga was the begining of the
modern fantasy genre, which inspired interest in the
magic, history, and the native religion of the North.
1957 CE: In Australia, A. Rud Mills publishes a
series of books on the elder religion.
1972 CE: Sveinbjrn Beinteinsson founded the
satrarflagi of Iceland. In 1973, satr is accepted
as one of the official religions of Iceland.
1973 CE: The Odinic Rite was also moving to gain
acceptance in England.
1973 CE: Stephen McNallen founded the satr
Free Assembly of America, establishing satr solidly
as a re-created Heathen religion.
1976 CE: Garman Lord founds Theodism, which
concentrates on Anglo-Saxon lore and beliefs.
1986 CE: Rune-Gild UK, headed by author and
Troth Elder Freya Aswynn, is founded.
1987 CE: The satr Free Assembly disbands.
1987 CE: Edred Thorsson and James Chisholm
found the Troth, an organization dedicated to the pro-
motion of the Germanic religion and culture.
1988 CE: The satr Alliance, a small group of
loosely organized member kindreds, was founded.
1989 CE: A Book of Troth by Edred Thorsson, the
first book on satr published by a major American
book publisher is printed by Llewellyn Publications.
1993 CE: The disbanded Rune-Gild UK becomes
the Ring of Troth UK, now the Ring of Troth Europe,
an independent organization affiliated with the Troth.
1996 CE: satr is mentioned in the December 16th
Time magazine article, Can Thor Make a Comeback?
about religion in cyberspace.
Today, Heathenism of all varieties is thriving.
Further Reading
The Poetic Edda. trans. Lee M. Hollander.
University of Texas Press, 1986.
Edda (The Younger Edda). trans. Anthony Faulkes.
Penguin, 1990.
Heimskringla. trans. Lee M. Hollander. University
of Texas Press, 1964.
The Sagas of Icelanders. trans Katrina Attwood, et
al. Viking Press, 2000.
Crossley-Holland, Kevin. The Norse Myths. New
York: Pantheon. 1980.
DuBois, Thomas A. Nordic Religions in the Viking
Age. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.
Ellis-Davidson, Hilda Roderick. Gods and Myths of
Northern Europe. Harmondsworth: Penguin. 1964.
Ellis-Davidson, Hilda Roderick. Myths and Symbols
in Pagan Europe. Syracuse: University Press. 1988.
Gundarsson, KveldlfR. Teutonic Religion. St. Paul,
MN: Llewellyn. 1995.
Turville-Petre, E. O. G. Myth and Religion of the
North, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1964.
On-line Resources
American Vinland Association
A Heathen, Non-Profit Religious Organization
http://www.freyasfolk.org/main.htm
Angelseaxisce Ealdriht
Anglo-Saxon Heathenry
http://www.ealdriht.org/
satr Alliance
A family-oriented association of independent kindreds
http://www.asatru.org/
satr Folk Assembly
Building tribes and walking the spiritual path of our
ancestors
http://www.runestone.org/
satrarflagi (satr Fellowship)
The fastest-growing religious group of Iceland
http://www.asatru.is/english/index.htm
Asatru-U
Online courses for learning about satr
http://www.asatru-u.org/
Hrafnar Kindred
A garth of the Troth with many useful articles
http://www.hrafnar.org/
Irminsul ttir
Church organization & voluntary satrar association
http://www.irminsul.org/
Jordsvins Norse Heathen Page
Information on Norse Religion and Magic
http://members.aol.com/jordsvin/kindred/kindred.htm
The Troth
A networking organization and recognized church
http://www.thetroth.org/
For Further Information Contact:
Minnesota Heathens
c/o Anthony Arndt
P.O. Box 13075
Minneapolis, MN 55414
MinnesotaHeathens@asatru.net
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/minnesota_heathens/
For help with networking, community build-
ing, educational support, outreach, prison ministry, or
any other assistance we can provide.
I=JH
The Northern Way
Every speaker of English is an inheritor of a cul-
ture shaped by a Germanic world-view.
- KveldlfR Gundarsson.
We have older beliefs in Iceland. Why should we
not bring them back to life?
- Sveinbjrn Beinteinsson
satr is the spiritual path of our ancestors, and
as such it deserves respect just like the religion of the
Indian peoples, the African nations, or any other group
on Earth.
- Stephen McNallen
The spiritual way of the North is known by many
names and traditions. satr, Heathenry, Vor Siur, The
Elder Troth, Northern Way, Forn Sed, Theodism, and
many others.
To blt (pronounced bloat) is to sacrifice.
Bltar (the plural form of blt) strengthen the bonds
between humans and the gods, our holy kin. With
bltar we honor the gods in a social atmosphere and
invite them to share in our celebrations and give them
gifts in return for divine favor.
A blt can be elaborate or a simple matter,
performed alone in just a few minutes. When a group
partakes in a blt, especially if outdoors, calls to the
gods are often shouted out and are punctuated by loud
Hails! echoed by the folk When someone in an
satr ritual says Hail! or hails a god its appropri-
ate to repeat after them in a similar tone and loudness.
For a blt our ancestors would have slaugh-
tered a sacrificial animal. Today most Heathens get
their meat from a grocer. The animal selected for the
feast was treated with honor and often bedecked with
garlands and ribbons. Much care was put into the
preparation of the holy feasts. We honor this tradition
by sanctifying food and drink being prepared for a feast
by passing it over a flame and making the sign of the
hammer, an inverted T, over it and perhaps saying a
short blessing like, Thor hallow this food. To lend an
air of sacredness to the feast many will decorate and
garnish the dishes for the feast as they would for any
lavish dinner party. During the feast a separate plate is
often set aside for the gods and ancestors.
The Need Fire is the sacred temple fire of the
Northern European traditions. Outside of a temple,
these fires were often started with a fire bow. The kin-
dling of the Need Fire was itself a sacred act believed
to drive away evil spirits and is today often used as
beginning of the hallowing of the ritual area.
1. Gathering - Participants arrange themselves.
The gathering was traditionally preceded with
a procession, a Sith. The processional, the ritual area,
and the feast table were decorated with seasonal flow-
ers, boughs, garlands, and wreaths appropriate to the
holiday being celebrated.
To set the mood, some rituals will start with a
chant. Some begin rituals by chanting Odin, Vili, Ve,
either in three rounds or continuously. It prepares the
celebrants for the ritual and links the participants to the
Heathen gods of creation, intensifying the connection
between Midgard and the gods.
The start of the ritual is often signaled by
sounding a horn three times.
2. The Hallowing- The area is sanctified.
Rituals are preferably held outside. Whether in
a sanctified forest or a particular grove. The perimeter
of the ritual area, the v, is often first marked out with
wooden stakes, often of hazelwood, which can be
linked by rope of natural fiber. It is then sanctified by a
procession of fire. The purpose of the hallowing is not
to ward the area but rather to make it more inviting to
the gods. Thor was often invoked by our ancestors to
make something sacred. The formula in Old Norse used
to accomplish this was rr uiki or Thor make this
sacred!. The procession was probably counter-clock-
wise. A chant or prayer can be added here. The Anglo-
Saxon Eldright suggests:
Fire I bear around this sacred site,
And bid all men make peace,
Flame I bear to enclose,
And bid evil spirits to flee
Thor make sacred this holy site
Fire I bear around this sacred site,
And bid all men make peace,
Flame I bear to enclose,
And bid outlaws fare away.
Thor make sacred, Thor make sacred,
Thor make sacred this holy site.
Thor make sacred, Thor make sacred,
Thor make sacred this holy site.
Some will alternately use the Hammer
Hallowing to sanctify the space. Starting at the North,
and rotating clockwise while making the Hammer-sign,
at each direction:
Hammer in the North, hallow and hold this Holy Stead!
Hammer in the East, hallow and hold this Holy Stead!
Hammer in the South, hallow and hold this Holy Stead!
Hammer in the West, hallow and hold this Holy Stead!
For outdoor rituals, a hrg, or altar of heaped
stones, was used. Indoors, altars were made of wood or
other materials and called a stall. Idols were often made
of wood the largest examples being from indoor altars,
often being at least life-sized.
Once a v has been sanctified it is considered
a frigar or peace-stead. To our ancestors this meant
that it was taboo to shed blood, carry weapons, or pol-
lute the ground with bodily wastes within the v.
3. The Rede - An explanation of the ceremony.
Statement of purpose or why the ritual is being
held this is often followed by a reading of poetry or
prose which sets the mythic context of the ritual.
4. The Signaling - those the ceremony is to honor
are called.
Some kindreds start with a prayer to the sir
and Vanir to thank them for their past blessings and to
ask their continued blessings upon the kindred.
Some kindreds will then offer personal prayers
and invocations and welcome new members.
The signalling officially begins with a call to
the god or gods to be honored on this occasion. The
Gothi or Gythia commonly will stand in the form of the
Elhaz rune, like a Y, for the call.
In Indo-European traditions prayers often
...included exactly the two components of praise of the
deity, not infrequently in the second person, followed
by a request to the deity (John Lindow, Addressing
Thor, p. 132). The formula often used in The Troth is:
Hail (best-known name), (descriptive epithet),
Child of (parent), lover of (spouse),
You who dwell in (name of hall),
You who (summarize several relevant deeds)
With your (characteristic tool or weapon)
Come swiftly to aid me
As I (summarize problem being addressed).
5. The Loading/Hallowing - The mead is made holy.
The Gothi takes up the horn and his assistant
fills it with mead. The food and drink for the blt is
consecrated by carrying it around the hearth fire three
times. What, if anything was said is unknown, but the
Heini tradition suggests Gods and Elves, make this
(mead/beer/milk/ meat/bread) holy or in old norse
sir ok Alfar, helgi (meau/bjr/mjlk/kjt/brau)
etta and making the sign of Thors Hammer over it.
The Gothi then holds up the horn and offers it
first to the god being honored that night in exchange
for the blessing of the god(s).
6. The Sharing - Each drinks a small quantity of
mead then pours the rest into the blessing bowl.
The Gothi drinks from the horn of mead,
imbued with the power and blessing of the gods, which
is then passed around the circle, either person to person
or by the assistant, often referred to as the Valkyrie in
this role. By drinking, the gathered folk share the
power of the gods among themselves. The horn often
makes three rounds, the first round to the gods and the
subsequent rounds varying from group to group. If you
are not comfortable drinking from the horn, it is tradi-
tional to make your offering and then kiss the rim of
the horn before passing it on.
The first round, the bede, is said to the gods. It
is custom to dedicate the bede to the god of the holy
tide being celebrated. It is also customary to only call
to the gods of the sir and Vanir unless by prior
arrangement with the host. The bede can be an elabo-
rate prayer or a simple salutation. The second round is
often the bragafull where the accomplishments and
goals of those gathered are toasted. The third round is
often the minni, drunk in honor of the ancestors. The
rounds will sometimes continue as a sumble, a ritual
toasting where ones words are cast directly into Urds
well. When the horn is one-third full, it is emptied into
the blt bowl and the horn is refilled.
The food and drink of the feast are consumed
at this point to strengthen the bonds of community in
an enjoyable atmosphere with fine food and drink.
7. The Blessing - The altar and participants are
sprinkled with mead.
Traditionally, it was the blood of the sanctified
animals which was sprinkled on the walls and altar.
Most rituals today will used mead or ale which has
been blessed for that purpose. The mead is poured from
the horn into the blot bowl and then carried by the
Gothi or the assistant. The Gothi dips a twig, preferably
from an evergreen, into the bowl and sprinkles the altar
and each person saying a blessing to each.
The order of the Sharing and the Blessing are
often interchangeable and depending on the size of the
group one or the other is often omitted.
8. The Giving/Earthing - The mead is poured onto
the ground from the bowl.
The blt bowl and plates laid out for the gods
and ancestors are taken outside and given to the gods
and land wights. This is often done by depositing the
offerings at the base of a tree, where animals can
devour it on the behalf of the gods and wights, or by
casting them into a sacred fire, thanking the gods and
spirits.
9. The Closing/Leaving - the ceremony is ended.
The rite is adjourned and often followed by a
full sumbel. If a temporary v was constructed, it may
be taken down by simply removing the stakes and
thanking the spirits of the land or house.
On-Line Resources
Angelseaxisce Ealdriht
(Anglo-Saxon Eldright)
http://www.ealdriht.org/husel.html/
A Simple Altar Dedication by Swain
Wodening
http://haligwaerstow.ealdriht.org/altar.html
CIAK - The Blot
http://www.ciak.org/blot.htm
Heini
http://www.goldenfuture.net/heathenry/
Raven Kindred - What Happens At A Blot
http://www.webcom.com/~lstead/blot.htm
Our Troth, published by The Troth
http://www.thetroth.org/
For Further Information Contact:
Minnesota Heathens
c/o Anthony Arndt
P.O. Box 13075
Minneapolis, MN 55414
MinnesotaHeathens@asatru.net
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/minnesota_heathens/
For help with networking, community build-
ing, educational support, outreach, prison ministry, or
any other assistance we can provide.
*J=H
A brief guide to satr ritual.
Knowest how one shall write,
knowest how one shall rede?
knowest how one shall tint,
knowest how one shall try?
knowest how one shall ask,
knowest how one shall offer?
knowest how one shall send,
knowest how one shall sacrifice?
-Havaml 145 (Bellows trans.)
None so free with gifts or food have I found
That gladly he took not a gift,
Nor one who so widely scattered his wealth
That of recompense hatred he had.
-Havaml 40 (Bellows trans.)
Worship: (from Old English weorscipe)
to respect, to honour, or
to give worth to something.
Who are the gods and goddesses of the
Heathen way?
Perhaps the best-known Heathen god is Odin.
He is the god of many things: inspiration, ecstasy,
poetry, healing, and death; it was he who won
knowledge of the mysteries of the universe which
we call the runes. Thor is the god whose great
might we feel in thunderstorms. The lightning is
his Hammer, the weapon with which he defends
Midgard, the world of humans; the rain that he
brings makes the fields fruitful. Tyr is the upholder
of right order and justice, both among humans and
in the entire universe. Frey is invoked for peace and
plenty; he and Odin were also the founders and
protectors of many dynasties of Heathen kings. His
father Njordh watches over the sea, ships, sailors,
wealth, and trade.
Our goddesses are no less holy and mighty than
our gods. Frigga, whom we see as Odins wife,
protects homes and families. Freya rules over
magic, sexuality, and riches; she also takes half of
those slain in battle. Idunna tends the golden apples
that keep the gods young; she inspires new
strength and joy to spring up in our hearts.
Skadhis might is seen in the winter; Ostara is the
bringer of spring. Earth herself is a mighty
goddess, who gives food to all.
These deities were known by different names in
different Germanic culturesin Anglo-Saxon
England, for example, Odin was Woden and Thor
was Thunor. There are many other deities who were
and are worshipped. Often, a Heathen will choose
one of the gods or goddesses as a special patron and
friendor perhaps be chosen by a patron deity.
However, Heathens honor all the gods and
goddesses of the North. Heathens believe in and
honor spirits of the home and the land, who can be
helpful in many ways if treated well, or disruptive
if ignored. Heathens honor their own worthy
ancestors as well. Check out the Troth resources,
listed on the back of this pamphlet, to find out
more about our gods and ways.
What is The Troth?
The Troth is one of several international
organizations that promote the ancient religion of
the Northlands, known as satr, Heathenry, and
by other names. We are incorporated as a non-profit
religious corporation in the state of Texas, and are
recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as
a tax-exempt religious organization.
The Troth publishes a quarterly magazine,
Idunna, along with other writings on Heathen
belief and practice. We serve as a networking
organization for individuals and kindreds, and we
try to assist our members to form local groups to
practice our religion and make it more widely
available. Once a year, the Troth sponsors a major
gathering at which members and interested folks
conduct workshops and ceremonies, and discuss and
demonstrate their many skills and practices. The
Troth also conducts a certification program for
clergy, incorporating training in lore, theology,
ritual, and counseling.
The Troth believes that the Gods call whom
they willregardless of race, ethnic origin, gender,
or sexual orientation. To hear their call is a joy, an
honor, and also a duty. If you hear that call, and
you are willing to live by our values and honor our
Gods, then we invite you to take your place among
friends and kin, and bring new honor and strength
to our ancient Heathen faith.
How can I find out more?
Visit the main website of The Troth at
http://www.thetroth.org/
E-mail the Troth at troth-contact
@thetroth.org
The Troth has a network of local coordinators, or
Stewards, who are happy to answer questions and
provide contacts. To find your nearest Steward, go
to http://www.thetroth.org/
memsvc/stewards/
Write to the Troth at the address on the front of
this flyer.
2003, The Troth
PO Box 1369
Oldsmar, FL 34677
This material may be reproduced freely
but may not be altered
What is Heathenry? What is satr?
The Germanic peoples of Northern Europe,
who include the English, Norse, Icelanders, Swedes
and Germans among others, once followed their
traditional religion, with roots thousands of years
old. Their ways were based on worshipping their
Gods, honoring their kin and ancestors, and
respecting the Earth and the land spirits. Their
beliefs were nearly wiped out during the conversion
of the European nations to Christianity. Yet they
did not die: in writings, traditions, and folklore, the
old faith has survived to the present day.
Today, a growing number of people are
working for a rebirth and a regrowth of these ways.
We are not trying to turn back the clock: we live
in the modern world, not the world of the Vikings
or the Goths or the Anglo-Saxons. Yet our faiths
deep roots in history give us strength and courage,
while its wisdom is deeply relevant to modern life.
In the old days, our religion had no name; it
was just the ways weve always had. Today,
different varieties of this religion are known by
various names, including satr (pronounced AH-
sa-tru, meaning trust in the Gods in Icelandic),
the Elder Troth, Theodism, the Northern Way, and
others. Heathenry or Heathenism is the most
general term for our religion. Although there are a
great many variations in beliefs and practices
within this faith, we all share a personal loyalty to
the gods and goddesses of the Northlands, including
Odin, Thor, Tyr, Frigga, Frey, Freya, and many
others.
What are the ethical standards of the
Heathen religion?
We strive to practice the moral principles
followed by our forebears, as described in the epic
poems and sagas. Oftentimes we sum these up as
the Nine Noble Virtues: Courage, Truth, Honor,
Loyalty, Discipline, Hospitality, Industriousness,
Self-reliance, and Steadfastness. Heathens actively
seek to apply these to every aspect of their lives.
How is Heathenry different from Wicca
and other pagan ways?
There are Norse Wiccans who practice Wicca
in a Heathen context, perhaps calling on the
Heathen gods Frey and Freya as the Lord and
Lady. Most Heathens, however, do not identify as
Wiccans or as neopagans. Many Wiccans see all
gods as manifestations of just two deities, the God
and the Goddess. Heathens, on the other hand, view
their own gods as interrelated and working together,
but not as aspects of a Godhead. We are generally
polytheistic, not pantheistic or duotheistic.
Heathens generally dont see their gods as
identical with the gods of other peoples, such as
the Greeks, Romans, Celts or Native Americans.
The traditional paths of these peoples are valid for
those who are called to follow them, but theyre
not the same thing as Heathenry, and we dont
blend our religion with others.
Are Heathens anti-Christian?
Some Heathens have had bad experiences with
Christianity, encountering intolerance, hypocrisy,
and worse abuses. Others remember the forced
conversion of northern Europe to Christianity,
when many Heathens were persecuted or put to
death by Christian kings such as Charlemagne and
Olaf Tryggvason.
Most Heathens arent especially opposed to
Christianity, as long as Christians respect our
freedom of worship in return. Heathens dont
necessarily disbelieve in the existence of the
Christian God. What we reject is the claim that he
is the only valid god for all humanity to bow to.
Heathens dont worship Satan or worship
demons either. Satan, demons and devils
belong to the Christian mythos and have no place
in Heathen ways. Nor do we accept the doctrine of
original sin; we may choose to do wrong, but
wrongfulness isnt built into our natures. We freely
choose to follow our own path, and we ask that
members of other faiths respect our choice.
Doesnt Germanic Heathenism support
racism, homophobia, and Nazism?
No. Unfortunately, the Nazis used some
Heathen symbols, such as the swastika and the
runes, and appealed to the heroic past of the
Germanic folk in their propaganda. A small
number of outspoken racists and bigots continue to
use Heathen beliefs and symbols as a cover for
their political agendas. This is an ignorant and
tragic misuse of our ancient birthright. (In much
the same way, the Nazis misused some aspects of
Christianity for their own purposes, and a few
extremist groups such as the Christian Identity
movement continue to do so.) There is no support
in our myths and lore for racism or for Nazi or
other fascist ideology.
Heathens support the rights of all individuals to
follow whichever religion and customs they
choose, without interference or intimidation. We do
not associate with known racists or would-be
Nazis. We do not endorse their misuse of our
symbols, such as Thors Hammer or the runes.
And perhaps most importantly, we believe in
taking honest responsibility for our own lives and
our own societies. We dont believe that its
honorable to try to dump the blame for what we
dont like about ourselves onto Jews, Africans,
gays, or anyone else.
What are those emblems on the cover?
The large picture is the Hammer of Thor.
Thors Hammer pendants were worn by many
Heathens in the Viking era as a sign of their trust
in their gods. The Hammer shown here was found
at Rmersdal, Denmark, and dates from about the
year 1000. Many Heathens today wear Thors
Hammers as outward signs of their faith, whether
they are drawn most to Thor or to another of the
gods or goddesses.
The Thors Hammer in a wreath is the emblem
of the Troth, one of the largest Heathen
organizations today.
What are the ethical standards o f
Heathenry?
Too often, the stereotype of Heathens is of an
anarchic group of Viking raiders, with no ethical
standards other than might makes right. The truth
is quite different.
Heathens do not believe in original sin. We
can and do choose to do right or wrongbut the
idea that we are inherently flawed, and can only
become worthy by humbly accepting divine grace
that we can never truly deserve, makes no sense in
a Heathen context. Our Gods dont rule us through
our guiltthey dont need to. Instead, we have the
strength and abilityand also the dutyto act
wisely, take responsibility for our actions, and
become worthy of our Gods and ancestors. Our
ethics are ultimately founded in personal
responsibility, and in reciprocal obligations to
ones community. They are not a long list of thou
shalt nots to be followed blindly. They are
intended to help us grow in strength and wisdom.
No less importantly, they are meant to guide us in
forming strong relationships and strong
communities, in frith and troth both among
ourselves and with our Gods.
What is frith?
Frith is an Old English word that is sometimes
translated as peace, but frith does not necessarily
mean the absence of conflict. It means a state of
deep mutual respect and obligation among people.
In frith, disagreement and conflict certainly happen,
but they arent destructive; instead, they can be
harnessed to make the society stronger.
What is t rot h?
Troth is an old word for trust or loyalty,
related to the word true. It is not faith in the
Biblical sense, the assurance of things unseen.
Instead, it is trust, tested and verified by experience.
Again, it applies both to human relationships and
to our relationships with our Gods.
What is The Troth?
The Troth is one of several international
organizations that promote the ancient religion of
the Northlands, known as satr, Heathenry, and
by other names. We are incorporated as a non-profit
religious corporation in the state of Texas, and are
recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as
a tax-exempt religious organization.
The Troth publishes a quarterly magazine,
Idunna, along with other writings on Heathen
belief and practice. We serve as a networking
organization for individuals and kindreds, and we
try to assist our members to form local groups to
practice our religion and make it more widely
available. Once a year, the Troth sponsors a major
gathering at which members and interested folks
conduct workshops and ceremonies, and discuss and
demonstrate their many skills and practices. The
Troth also conducts a certification program for
clergy, incorporating training in lore, theology,
ritual, and counseling.
The Troth believes that the Gods call whom
they willregardless of race, ethnic origin, gender,
or sexual orientation. To hear their call is a joy, an
honor, and also a duty. If you hear that call, and
you are willing to live by our values and honor our
Gods, then we invite you to take your place among
friends and kin, and bring new honor and strength
to our ancient Heathen faith.
How can I find out more?
Visit the main website of The Troth at
http://www.thetroth.org/
E-mail the Troth at troth-contact
@thetroth.org
The Troth has a network of local coordinators, or
Stewards, who are happy to answer questions and
provide contacts. To find your nearest Steward, go
to http://www.thetroth.org/
memsvc/stewards/
Write to the Troth at the address on the front of
this flyer.
2003, The Troth
PO Box 1369
Oldsmar, FL 34677
This material may be reproduced freely
but may not be altered
What are the Nine Noble Virtues?
The Nine Noble Virtues are a modern attempt
to state the highest ethical values of Heathenry, as
shown in our ancient poems and sagas. They are
not the Nine Commandments, and theyre not
all there is to Heathenry. In fact, not all Heathens
like the idea of trying to encapsulate what we stand
for into nine words. Still, most Heathens would
argue that these are worthy ideals. A Heathen who
strives to show all of these virtues in every part of
his or her own life is surely worthy of respect.
Courage or Boldness was, and is, certainly a
warriors virtue. Yet even if you never lift a
weapon, the courage to risk social disapproval or
worse in defense of what you know is right, or to
not take the easy way out, is no less worthy than
the courage to go into combat.
Truth or Sooth is simple honesty. It begins with
honesty with ones selfthe choice to avoid self-
delusions, no matter how comforting they may
beand extends to honesty with others.
Honor can perhaps best be summed up as living
in such a way as to have no regrets about what you
have done with your life. An honorable person
keeps promises and oaths, tries to put things right
if he or she wrongs someone, and does not let
personal feelings get in the way of obligations.
Loyalty or Troth applies to our relationships
with each other, with our ideals, and with the
Gods. In this time when relationships are too often
disposable, we strive to remain true to our Gods,
kin, and friendsand to live up, every day, to the
trust they place in us.
Di sci pl i ne is first and foremost self-
disciplinethe willingness to be hard on ones self
when necessary, and not bend to expedience or
whim, for the sake of gaining a greater good.
Hospitality or Guest-friendliness is the
willingness to share what one has with others, in
order to build a strong community. This sharing
may or may not be materialat the very least,
hospitality means extending basic respect to all.
Industriousness or Busyship is the will to
work as hard and long as necessary to accomplish a
higher goal. This should apply both in our
religious and our mundane lives.
Self-reliance or Freedom is not anarchy or
freedom from responsibility, nor does it mean the
refusal to accept help from anyone. Its taking full
responsibility for ones life and actions.
Perseverance or Steadfastness is just
thatsticking with a goal, even in the face of
setbacks, until it is accomplished.
What are the Atheling Thews?
Many Heathens specifically follow the pre-
Christian ways of Anglo-Saxon England, which
were similar but not identical to those of
Scandinavia. Anglo-Saxon Heathens often sum up
their ethical ideals as the Atheling (nobleman)
Thews. Thew, in Old English, means something
like custom or rule of conduct.
The Atheling Thews dont contradict the Nine
Noble Virtues, but they tend to emphasize different
aspects of ethics and behavior. Again, the Thews
are not the sole, incontrovertible guide for all of
heathen lifebut they sum up much of the
personal ideals of Heathens. Even non-Anglo-
Saxon Heathens would generally approve of the
Thews; one who follows them will grow in worth.
Seven of the Thews are very similar to seven of
the Nine Noble Virtues: Boldness, Sooth, Troth,
Guest-friendliness, Busyship, Freedom, and
Steadfastness. To these are added five more:
Givefullness or Generosity was highly praised
in ancient timesring-giver was one of the
highest terms of praise for a king or lord.
Exchanging gifts, whether material goods or gifts
of time and effort, keeps our relationships with
each other and with the Gods strong.
Wrake or Vengeance was considered an
obligation for the kinsmen of someone murdered or
harmed. This is not blind rage, and it doesnt
have to be outside the bounds of the law.
Evenhead is equality of the sexes under the law.
In pre-conversion Norse and Germanic societies,
women had a great deal of power and freedom. The
same should hold true for modern Heathens.
Friendship is simply loyalty to one's friends,
which is as valued as loyalty to one's kinsmen.
Wisdom is more than raw intelligence and factual
knowledge. It includes empathy, insight, self-
knowledge, and the ability to perceive hidden levels
of meaning. To be wise is to be deep-minded or
deep-souled, as the lore describes it.
Arent you just following situational
ethics?
We do believe that the ways in which we apply
our ethics have to be adapted to the situation.
Hospitality is one of our highest virtues, but
offering hospitality to someone whom you know
is planning to rob or kill you and your family is
not only wrong, its really stupid.
Right and wrong exist, but they arent
mandates handed down from on high, to be
followed blindly. We Heathens are expected to use
our minds and our past experiences in working out
right and wrongin choosing the courses of action
that will bring honor to ourselves and our Gods.
What are oaths?
An oath is a solemn promise to accomplish an
important deed, sworn before the Gods and often
before the Heathen community. It is extremely bad
to break a sworn oath; not only does an oathbreaker
lose main (spiritual power) and honor, but he or
she loses the communitys respect and trust.
What are those emblems on the cover?
The cover shows a scene from the Gosforth
Cross, a Viking-era carving from northern England.
It is thought to show Heimdall, trusty watchman
of the Gods and father of humanity. The Thors
Hammer in a wreath is the emblem of the Troth,
one of the largest Heathen organizations today.
Who are the gods and goddesses of the
Heathen way?
Our gods belong to two tribes, the Aesir and
the Vanir. Our myths speak of a time when the
Aesir and Vanir were at war, but made a truce and
exchanged members. This myth may be based in
part on historical battles between human tribes
who later formed an alliance; at the same time, it
reflects the ways in which our gods work together.
Perhaps the best-known of the Aesir is Odin.
He is the god of many things: inspiration, ecstasy,
poetry, healing, the runes, and death. Frigga,
whom we see as Odins wife, protects homes and
families. Thor is the storm-god who defends the
world of humans. The lightning is his weapon, the
Hammer; the rain that he brings makes the fields
fruitful. Tyr is the upholder of right order and
justice, both among humans and in the universe.
Heimdall is the watchman of the gods, and also the
progenitor and teacher of the human race.
The Vanir are sometimes called fertility gods,
but they are far more than that; they are the gods of
all the things in this world that we are meant to
enjoy, whether good harvests, sexual love, or
riches. Frey is invoked for peace and plenty; he and
Odin were also the founders and protectors of many
dynasties of Heathen kings. His sister Freya rules
over magic, sexuality, and riches, but is also a
battle goddessshe takes half of those slain in
battle to be with her. Their father Njordh watches
over the sea, ships, sailors, and trade.
The Jotnar or giants are a third group of
powerful beings. Many of our myths tell of fights
between the gods and the giants. However, the
Jotnar are not evil as the word is usually
understood. On one level, some of the Jotnar
represent the impersonal forces of nature: not
malicious, but sometimes destructive, and not
especially heedful of human concerns. Yet others of
them are depicted as wise and helpful. In fact, some
giants have been adopted among the gods, and
nearly all our gods have giants in their ancestry.
What is The Troth?
The Troth is one of several international
organizations that promote the ancient religion of
the Northlands, known as satr, Heathenry, and
by other names. We are incorporated as a non-profit
religious corporation in the state of Texas, and are
recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as
a tax-exempt religious organization.
The Troth publishes a quarterly magazine,
Idunna, along with other writings on Heathen
belief and practice. We serve as a networking
organization for individuals and kindreds, and we
try to assist our members to form local groups to
practice our religion and make it more widely
available. Once a year, the Troth sponsors a major
gathering at which members and interested folks
conduct workshops and ceremonies, and discuss and
demonstrate their many skills and practices. The
Troth also conducts a certification program for
clergy, incorporating training in lore, theology,
ritual, and counseling.
The Troth believes that the Gods call whom
they willregardless of race, ethnic origin, gender,
or sexual orientation. To hear their call is a joy, an
honor, and also a duty. If you hear that call, and
you are willing to live by our values and honor our
Gods, then we invite you to take your place among
friends and kin, and bring new honor and strength
to our ancient Heathen faith.
How can I find out more?
Visit the main website of The Troth at
http://www.thetroth.org/
E-mail the Troth at troth-contact
@thetroth.org
The Troth has a network of local coordinators, or
Stewards, who are happy to answer questions and
provide contacts. To find your nearest Steward, go
to http://www.thetroth.org/
memsvc/stewards/
Write to the Troth at the address on the front of
this flyer.
2003, The Troth
PO Box 1369
Oldsmar, FL 34677
This material may be reproduced freely
but may not be altered
Whom do Heathens worship?
We worship the Gods and Goddesses that were
worshipped in Anglo-Saxon England, Scandinavia,
and other Germanic countries before their forcible
Christianization in the early Middle Ages.
Youre not serious, right?
Were quite serious.
We dont take our myths and tales absolutely
literally. We know that lightning and thunder are
not physically caused by a muscular red-bearded
man riding a goat-drawn chariot and throwing a
massive hammer. We know that the Sun does not
really travel across the sky in a chariot. Such
interpretations miss the point: our images of our
Gods are symbols of what they are like. They
convey to our minds truths that are hard to grasp in
any other way. We feel Thors great might in the
fury of a thunderstorm; we come to know
something of the laws and cycles of nature through
the image of Sunnas chariot. We see Freys power
in green fields; we know Freyas magic in the
loves wild sweetness; we recognize Odins own
self in the blaze of creative inspiration.
Arent you just worshipping nature or
worshipping things in your head?
We do see the work of many of our Gods in the
natural world. There are also some Heathens who
see our Gods as personifications of psychological
forces, perhaps as archetypes. These are both
partially true. Our Gods exist partly in the forces of
nature, and partly in our own minds, souls, and
societies; they interpenetrate with ourselves and our
world. These are valid ways of experiencing them.
However, most Heathens would agree that our
Gods are not mere natural forces, and they are not
solely inside your head. Most Heathens
experience the Gods as complex personalities
existing apart from humans, capable of growth and
change. Sometimes they speak to us in unexpected
ways as our knowledge of them deepens.
How do Heathens worship today?
Thanks to a lot of written lore and folk
customs surviving in Iceland, England, and to a
lesser extent other Germanic nations, we know a
fair amount about how the Gods were thought of
and worshipped in ancient times. Not all Heathens
are scholars, but most Heathens use historical and
scholarly writings to reconstruct, as accurately as
possible, what our forebears actually thought and
did and believed. It is often said that Heathenry is
the religion with homework! Yet although we
use this lore as the basis for what we do, there is
plenty of room in our faith for personal
inspiration, for individual creativity, and for
updating and renewing our ways to reflect the world
we live in.
A Heathen rite of worship is called a blt
(pronounced to rhyme with boat). A blt may be
simple or complex, but usually involves sharing a
drinking horn of ale or mead among the
worshippers; prayers and calls to the deity being
honored; and sharing drink, and sometimes other
offerings, with the deity. In a rite known as
sumbel, participants toast the Gods and ancestors,
boast of their accomplishments, and swear binding
oaths before the Gods and the gathered folk. We
view our Gods as Elder Kinwe dont bow or
kneel before them, and we dont beg for their
redemption or forgiveness. We stand proudly before
them, share our offerings and our deeds with them,
and ask for their aid to guard and strengthen
ourselves and our kindreds.
The calendar of holidays varied among different
peoples in ancient times, and it varies among
modern Heathens today. Almost all Heathens
celebrate Yule around the winter solstice, Ostara in
spring, Midsummer near the summer solstice, and
Winternights in autumn. Some Heathens, but not
all, celebrate a cycle of eight major feasts per year.
Heathens may also make blts to a God or several
Gods whenever they feel the need to communicate
with them.
Do Heathens do magic or cast spells?
Some do and some dont. Magick, spell-
casting, and esoteric work are not as central to
Heathen ways as they are in typical Wicca or other
witchcraft traditions. Many Heathens dont feel the
need to use them. That being said, there are several
magical practices that are documented in our lore,
which modern Heathens have reconstructed and use.
One of these is seidha kind of soul journey-
work, similar to shamanic practices in other
cultures. Rune magic may include divination,
galdor (chants), or taufr-magic (carving and staining
magical objects).
Where do Heathens go after death?
It depends. There is evidence in the surviving
lore for many different fates after death. Some
people, especially warriors, go to Odins home,
Valhalla, or to Freyas hall Folkvang. Some go to
be with whichever god or goddess they were closest
to in life. Others may stay on the earth as guardian
spirits, watching over their lands and their families.
Still others may go to the realm of Helwhich is
not a place of torment, but rather a land of rest.
(Christian missionaries borrowed the word Hel and
used it to mean the lad of fiery eternal punishment
for sinners. Although theres some evidence in the
Heathen lore that extremely bad people are
punished after death, the concept of a land of eternal
torture is alien to Heathenry.) Finally, many
Heathens believe that at least parts of their souls, if
not necessarily complete personas, are
reincarnated in later generations of their families.
What are those emblems on the cover?
The large picture is taken from a carved stone
from Alskog Tjngvide, Sweden. It depicts the
goddess Frigga, or perhaps a valkyrie, welcoming
Odin with a horn of drink. The Thors Hammer in
a wreath is the emblem of the Troth, one of the
largest Heathen organizations today.
Arent Heathens just worshipping
nature or things in their heads?
We do see the work of many of our Gods in the
natural world. There are also some Heathens who
see our Gods as personifications of psychological
forces, perhaps as archetypes. These are both
valid ways of seeing them. Our Gods exist partly
in the forces of nature, and partly in our own
minds, souls, and societies. They interpenetrate
with our world, and with our very selves.
However, most Heathens would agree that our
Gods are not only natural forces, and they are not
solely inside your head. Most Heathens
experience the Gods as complex, independent
personalities, who speak to us in unexpected ways.
Our myths are not literal descriptions of the Gods;
they symbolize their natures and ways of working.
How did the world come into existence?
Our myths speak of a land of ice, Niflheim,
next to a land of fire, Muspellheim. The first
beings came from the interaction between these
two realms. Their descendants, the first Gods,
shaped the universe and made mankind. Most
Heathens dont take this myth literally; we dont
reject scientific cosmology! The important truth
conveyed by the myth is that our Gods grow out of
the world, instead of standing apart from it. They
share in its life and in ours, and we in theirs; we
are their friends and kin, not their slaves or cattle.
How will the world end?
Ragnarok, the last battle between the Gods and
the Giants, will be the end of the world. Most of
the Gods will die fighting, and flames will destroy
the world. Yet afterwards a new world will be
reborn, more beautiful than the old. The Gods and
humans who survive the battle will live on in this
new world. Again, this myth is open to many
interpretations. What matters is the fact that our
Gods, like us, take part in the cycles of birth and
death that make up the life of the Universe.
What is The Troth?
The Troth is one of several international
organizations that promote the ancient religion of
the Northlands, known as satr, Heathenry, and
by other names. We are incorporated as a non-profit
religious corporation in the state of Texas, and are
recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as
a tax-exempt religious organization.
The Troth publishes a quarterly magazine,
Idunna, along with other writings on Heathen
belief and practice. We serve as a networking
organization for individuals and kindreds, and we
try to assist our members to form local groups to
practice our religion and make it more widely
available. Once a year, the Troth sponsors a major
gathering at which members and interested folks
conduct workshops and ceremonies, and discuss and
demonstrate their many skills and practices. The
Troth also conducts a certification program for
clergy, incorporating training in lore, theology,
ritual, and counseling.
The Troth believes that the Gods call whom
they willregardless of race, ethnic origin, gender,
or sexual orientation. To hear their call is a joy, an
honor, and also a duty. If you hear that call, and
you are willing to live by our values and honor our
Gods, then we invite you to take your place among
friends and kin, and bring new honor and strength
to our ancient Heathen faith.
How can I find out more?
Visit the main website of The Troth at
http://www.thetroth.org/
E-mail the Troth at troth-contact
@thetroth.org
The Troth has a network of local coordinators, or
Stewards, who are happy to answer questions and
provide contacts. To find your nearest Steward, go
to http://www.thetroth.org/
memsvc/stewards/
Write to the Troth at the address on the front of
this flyer.
2003, The Troth
PO Box 472
Berkeley, CA 94701
This material may be reproduced freely
but may not be altered
Who are the gods and goddesses of the
Heathen way?
Our gods belong to two tribes, the Aesir and
the Vanir. This flyer does not list all the Gods
worshipped in either ancient or modern times; it
can only give a brief overview of the best known.
Who are the Aesir?
Odin or Woden is the giver of inspiration and
magic, the stirrer of battle-frenzy, and the god of
death. He works in countless ways and guises to
hold off Ragnarok for as long as possible. The
bravest of slain warriors live on in his hall,
Valhalla, and will fight for him at Ragnarok.
Frigga or Frige, Odins wife, watches over
households, families, birth and children. She is
also a seeress who knows all fates. She is Odin's
match in wisdom; she shares his high-seat, from
which they look out over the worlds together.
Thor or Thunor is the son of Odin and Earth.
Thor is a storm-god; the lightning is his thrown
Hammer, with which he defends Gods and
humans against the Jotnar. He also brings the
rain that makes the fields fertile, and his Hammer
blesses marriages and other ceremonies.
Si f is Thors wife, famous for her long golden
hair, seen in fields of ripe grain.
Tyr or Tiw is the god of rightness and
orderand of the struggle and self-sacrifice that
are needed to uphold them. A wise and brave
warrior, he lost his hand in binding the wolf
Fenrir, who is fated to break loose at Ragnarok.
Heimdall watches for the signs of Ragnarok and
guards Bifrost, the bridge between the world of
mankind (Midgard) and the world of the Gods
(Asgard). He hears everything that happens in the
world, and needs no sleep. Under the name of
Rig ("King"), he fathered the human race, and
taught runes and lore to his descendants.
Idunna watches over the life force, seen in the
myths as apples, that keeps all the Gods
youthful and strong.
Ostara or Eostre is not known from
Scandinavian sources, but she was worshipped in
pre-Christian Germany and England. She is the
bringer of spring. Her name was adopted by the
Christians for their own festival of spring.
Who are the Vanir?
The Vanir are sometimes called fertility gods,
but they are far more than that. The Vanir are the
gods of all the things that we are meant to desire and
enjoy, whether good harvests, sexual and emotional
love, peace and friendship, or riches.
Frey, also known as Ing or Yngvi , is invoked
for peace and abundance; the heathen Swedes
called him god of the world. He and Odin were
also the founders and protectors of many
dynasties of Heathen kings.
Freya, Freys sister, rules over magic, sexuality,
and riches; she taught the form of shamanic
magic known as seidh to Odin. She is also a
battle goddessshe takes half of those slain in
battle to be with her.
Njordh, the father of Frey and Freya, is the god
of the sea, seafarers, shipping and trade. He is
described as exceedingly rich.
Nerthus is an Earth goddess once especially
worshipped by the North Sea Germans, according
to the Roman historian Tacitus. Her worship
included the springtime procession of a wagon in
which her image was kept; all conflict had to
stop during her holy procession.
What other beings are worshipped i n
Heathenry?
Heathens believe in and honor land-spirits,
called huldrefolk or landvaettir in Old Norse.
Heathens also honor house-spirits, who can be
helpful in many ways if treated well, or disruptive
if ignored. Heathens honor their own worthy
ancestors as well; for example, the disir and alfar
are female and male ancestors who have become
guardian-spirits of a family or clan.
Who are the Jotnar?
The Jotnar or giantsalso known as etins or
thursesare a third group of powerful beings.
Many of our myths tell of battles between the gods
(especially Thor) and the giants. However, the
Jotnar are not evil as the word is usually
understood. On one level, some of the Jotnar
represent the impersonal forces of nature: not
malicious, but often destructive. Others of them are
depicted as wise and helpful. In fact, nearly all our
gods have giants in their ancestry, and some giants
have been adopted among the gods.
Skadhi is a winter-goddess whom we visualize
as a huntress traveling on skis. Once she
threatened the Gods with vengeance for their
killing of her father Thjazi, but the Gods were
able to placate her and make her an ally.
Loki is best described as a trickster-figurehe
has played pranks and created dissension among
the Gods, and he will fight against them at
Ragnarok. Nonetheless, his escapades have
provided the Gods with great benefits. Although
a Jotun, he is Odins sworn blood-brother.
Aegir and his wife Ran rule over the depths of
the sea. Shipwrecked sailors were said to have
gone to Ran. Their daughters are the waves.
Hel is the daughter of Loki and the giantess
Angrbodha. She keeps the dead in her kingdom,
also called Hel. The Christians borrowed her
name for the place where sinners are tormented,
but originally her realm was seen as a quiet land
of rest, not a place of eternal torture.
Jordh or Erda is the Earth herself, the mother of
Thor, and the giver of food to all.
What are those emblems on the cover?
The large picture shows an ornament excavated
from a royal grave at Sutton Hoo, England. It
shows a man attacked by wolves, possibly Odin
fighting at Ragnarok. The Thors Hammer in a
wreath is the emblem of the Troth, one of the
largest Heathen organizations today.
WHAT RECONSTRUCTIONIST PAGANISM
ISNT. . .
Reconstructionism isnt historical re-enactment.
Many people in Reconstructionist groups enjoy
dressing in period costume, trying traditional crafts
or foods or games or combat styles, and so on.
Some gain spiritual satisfaction from doing
soand besides, it can be a lot of fun. But our
religions are meant to be meaningful to us, here
and now. Were modern people, with modern-day
concerns: we can never be Egyptians of 1300 BC,
or Vikings of 800 AD, or Romans of 100 ADnor
should we try. Furthermore, there are some aspects
of ancient cultures that really should not be
brought back, such as slavery and human sacrifice.
But we believe that our ancient religions, and the
cultures of which they were integral parts, d o
contain much that is deeply true for us now, and
that should be brought back into the world.
Reconstructionists arent generally eclectic.
Youll often hear the statement in Wiccan
circles that all the Gods are one God, and all the
Goddesses are one Goddess. Many Recons
consider that statement to border on the offensive.
We experience our Gods as different individuals,
with their own personalities and ways of working.
Part of why we enjoy our own friends company is
that theyre different from each other and so it
is with our Gods.
A typical satrar, Hellenist, or Kemetic would
recognize the worth of other neo-pagan paths, and
accept that their gods exist and are valid for their
worshippersbut she would generally not worship
them herself. Some Reconstructionists follow
traditions that did allow the worship of gods from
other cultures; Roman religion, for example,
imported the cults of Isis, Cybele, Ma, and
Mithras, and Roman Reconstructionists may
choose to honor these gods along with the native
Roman gods. But thats kept within known
historical limitsa Roman reconstructionist would
not freely combine the worship of Mars with that
of, say, the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele!
There are some Reconstructionists who feel
called to honor the Gods of more than one path.
However, such dual-trad people usually keep
their pantheons separate, at least in public. You
wont find anyone hailing Isis at an satr blt, or
making an offering to Thor in an Egyptian temple.
The belief in all deities being parts of one
Godhead was rare in ancient times. Most ancient
peoples believed in separate deitiesas do most
Reconstructionists today. That being said, some
groups (such as the Kemetic Orthodox), and some
individuals, do see their own deities as Names or
aspects of one Source. But they still approach that
Source through honoring its diverse aspects.
Reconstructionists dont do Wiccan rituals.
Recon rites usually dont have the male-female
polarity that Wicca often has; the roles in most
rituals are in principle open to both sexes. Most
dont use the four elements of Air, Earth, Fire and
WaterCeltic Reconstructionists work with the
Three Realms of Land, Sea, and Sky, whereas
satr symbolism may be based on Fire and Ice.
Recon rituals dont require casting a circle,
drawing down the Moon, or raising up power;
the aims of Recon worship services are quite
different from those of a standard Wiccan ritual.
And each Reconstructionist tradition follows its
own calendar of holy dayswhich may or may not
overlap with the Eightfold Wheel of the Year
common in Wicca and witchcraft.
The ethical systems are also quite different.
Most Reconstructionists dont subscribe to the
Threefold Law or the Wiccan Rede. Different
reconstructionist faiths have different ethical
codes, which usually stress honor, hospitality,
truth, and personal responsibility.
Reconstructionism isnt Magic(k).
Certainly, people all over the world did and do
magicloosely defined for our purposes as
attempting to change the universe in accord with
ones will. Many Reconstructionist faiths are open
to doing magic within the appropriate cultural
framework. Thus, many satrar work with runes;
Hellenics might study the large number of Greek
spells and amulets that have survived; Celts might
work on techniques such as imbas forosnai, and so
on. Reconstructionists might also choose to work
with shamanistic practices, such as Norse seidhr.
But its not necessary to do any of these things to
be a Reconstructionist. Our central focus is simply
different. On the other hand, traditions like
Western ceremonial magic(k) draw heavily on
Egyptian and Greek mythology and magical
practice, but ceremonial magick is not a
Reconstructionist path.
Reconstructionist religions dont claim to be
unbroken historical traditions.
Some pagan-era practices survived conversion
to Christianity and are preserved in the folklore of
many countries. But the religions we practice, as
they were practiced centuries ago, died out; its
now up to us to revitalize them. (Mind you, we
dont believe that our Gods died out; theyve
always been there, sometimes in forms that we
dont suspect.)

OK, SO WHAT IS RECONSTRUCTIONIST
PAGANISM?
Reconstructionists emphasize worship.
We honor and revere our Gods. Some
individuals may be closest to a particular deity, but
still will worship all the Gods of their chosen path.
In most traditions, Recons also honor their
ancestors, as well as various types of lesser spirits.
Rituals are times to strengthen the bonds of
friendship, respect, and reciprocal obligation
between ourselves and our gods.
Reconstructionists emphasize study.
We try to learn as much about our ancient
religions as we can, using old texts, linguistics,
folklore and archaeology as the foundation on
which we build. Some of us learn languages (Old
Norse, Ancient Greek, Old Irish, etc. . .) to worship
our gods in the oldest ways, or to understand
religious texts in the way our forebears would have
understood them. Not all of us are scholars, and
you dont have to have a degree or speak obscure
languages to be a perfectly good Reconstructionist.
Still, most Recons have a better-than-average
background in studying the roots of their faiths. As
satrar often say, Were the religion with
homework! And many of us find spiritual
fulfillment and joy in the very act of study.
Reconstructionists emphasize culture. In todays
world, ones religion is all too often something
that one goes into a building for an hour each week
to practice; then one comes out and resumes
ordinary life. But the ancient religions that we
follow were not separable from the daily life of the
people that followed them. We can understand our
chosen religions more deeply by studying the
ancient cultures that they were a part of. We learn
how religion was woven into the ancients
livesand how we can weave it into the fabric of
our own lives.
Reconstructionists may innovatebut our
innovation is clearly marked as such. When we
dont know how something was done or believed
in ancient times, we say so, and we try to come up
with modern forms that are faithful to the spirit of
what the ancients would have done. Attuned
individuals sometimes receive communications
from their gods concerning new ways to
understand them or worship them. Although these
have to be evaluated critically, on their own merits,
they are a valid part of any living religion. But
again, we distinguish between the old and the new,
and always try to keep the new true to the old.
We cant know everything about how ancient
religions were actually practiced. But to paraphrase
what the leader of one national group often says: If
an Iron Age Celt or a Viking-era Norseman or a
Middle Kingdom Egyptian were to travel to our
time and watch a Reconstructionist groups ritual,
he might find some of the details to be a little
strange. . . but the spirit and the intent of the rite
would (hopefully) be recognizable immediately.
GUIDE TO RECONSTRICTIONIST
PAGANISM ON THE INTERNET
Heathenry / Asatru (Germanic
Reconstructionism)
The Troth http://www.thetroth.org/
satru-U http://www.asatru-u.org/
Raven Online
http://www.webcom.com/~lstead/
Thaet Miercinga Rice
http://www.ealdriht.org/
Kemeticism (Egyptian Reconstructionism)
International Network of Kemetics
http://www.inkemetic.org/
Per Ankh http://www.per-ankh.org/
Akhet Hwt-Hrw http://www.hwt-hrw.com/
Kemetic Orthodoxy http://www.kemet.org/
Hellenismos (Greek Reconstructionism)
Hellenion http://www.hellenion.org/
Neokoroi http://winterscapes.com/neokoroi/
Sponde http://www.sponde.com/
Elaion http://www.elaion.org/
Religion Romana (Roman Reconstructionism)
Nova Roma http://www.novaroma.org/
Temple of the Religio Romana
http://religioromana.net/
Mithraeum http://www.mithraeum.org/
The Julian Society
http://www.juliansociety.org/
Celtic Reconstructionism
IMBAS http://www.imbas.org/
Keltrian Druidism http://www.keltria.org/
Dn Sgthan http://cyberpict.net/
Romuva / Dievturi (Baltic Reconstructionism)
Romuvahttp://www.romuva.lt/
Dievturihttp://www.ailab.lv/dievturi/d12.htm
Vedic Reconstructionism
Order of the Perfumed Scorpion
http://www.perfumedscorpion.org/
2004, The Troth
PO Box 1369
Oldsmar, FL34677
http://www.thetroth.org/
This material may be reproduced freely but may
not be altered
AN INTRODUCTION
TO THE TROTH

The Troth is dedicated to exploring,
practicing and promoting the pre-Christian
religion of the Germanic peoples, who
include the English, Norwegians,
Icelanders, Swedes and Germans, among
others. This religion is known by various
names including satr, Heathenry, the
Elder Troth, and others. There are many
variations in beliefs and practices within
this faith, and many ways of describing and
classifying these differences. One thing we
all share a defining personal loyalty to, or
"Troth" with, the gods and goddesses of the
Northlands, such as Odin, Thor, Frigga,
Freyja and many others. We also have a
deep respect for our Germanic religious,
cultural and historical heritage; and a
strong determination to practice the moral
principles followed by our noble
predecessors, including Courage, Truth,
Honor, Loyalty, Discipline, Hospitality,
Industriousness, Self-reliance, and
Steadfastness.

WHAT WE DO

In order to help modern Heathens better to
understand and practice the Elder Troth,
we publish a quarterly journal, Idunna, and
carry on other publishing projects. The
best-known such project to date is Our
Troth, a collective work of over 700 pages
incorporating the research, thought and
experience of many Troth members and
friends, currently available online. Back
issues of Idunna are available, and we also
publish pamphlets covering several aspects
of practicing Heathenry in contemporary
society, including a Heathens Almanac,
due out in Fall 2003.

In addition to publishing activities, the
Troth conducts a training program for
prospective Heathen clergy, incorporating
study, training and experience in lore
knowledge, theology, ceremonial practice,
group organization, and counseling, and
leading to certification after an extensive
evaluation and final examination.

The Troth also tries to assist its members to
form local groups to practice our religion
and make it more widely available, by
referring people to existing groups,
providing networking help through local
coordinators, or "Stewards," listing affiliated
groups, and supporting and publicizing
local and regional gatherings when
requested. Once a year, the Troth sponsors
a major gathering at which members and
interested folks from all over North
America, and often from Europe, attend,
conduct workshops and religious
ceremonies, and discuss and demonstrate
their many skills and religious practices.
Trothmoot has been an invaluable
opportunity to experience the richness of
modern Heathenry, and add depth and
energy to one's own practice.

WHAT WE ARE

The Troth currently has members
throughout North America and several
members in Europe and Australia as well.
We are incorporated as a non-profit
religious corporation in the state of Texas,
and are recognized by the U.S. Internal
Revenue Service as a tax-exempt religious
organization. The Troth exists in order to
celebrate our religious and cultural
heritage, rather than to promote political,
racial, social or other agendas. Membership
in the Troth and participation in our
activities is open to worthy folks regardless
of race, ethnic origin, gender or sexual
orientation, and we do not permit
discrimination on these grounds in the
activities of the Troth or any of its affiliated
groups.

HOW TO CONTACT US

If you feel drawn to the ways of the Heathen
North, and would like to participate in our
growing community, we invite you to drop
us a line at the e-mail addresses listed
here. Start today to lend a hand in the
challenging work of restoring the Elder
Troth to a proud, open and active role in
our society, culture and world. The old gods
are calling; to hear their call is a joy, an
honor, and also a duty. If they are calling to
you, it is time to take your place among
friends and kin, and bring new honor and
strength to our ancient Heathen faith.

BY EMAIL

troth-contact@thetroth.org is our general
contact e-dress, and a great place to start.

You can also use our web site to find the
Troth Steward nearest you. Go to:
http://www.thetroth.org/ and look for the
Steward Locator.

BY POSTAL MAIL

Write to us!

The Troth
P.O. Box 1369
Oldsmar, Florida 34677

Since its founding, the Troth has
insisted that its members affiliate for
religious and cultural reasons, rather than
racial or political ones. Troth membership
has always been open to interested
individuals regardless of their racial or
ethnic background, their sexual
orientation, and other such criteria that
have been the basis within our societies for
unfair discrimination.
If a person has a defining personal
commitment to the gods and goddesses of
Asgard and to the spirituality they
represent, and lives within the
moral/ethical principles inherent in
Northern Heathen religion and culture,
then he/she is welcome among us, as one
of us, without any restrictions, disabilities,
or "special" status. Such is the scope of our
hospitality to newcomers, and our
acceptance of members within our
community.
Although the Troth as an organization
does not pass judgment on others' views on
hospitality and inclusion, many of us who
have first-hand experience of racism in
Germanic religion have noticed that
permitting racist expression within a group
or a gathering tends to alienate and
ultimately exclude, not only those whose
ethnic heritage might not "pass muster,"
but also many talented and creative
individuals of Germanic or European
ancestry who simply find racism offensive
and abhorrent. The same effect tends to
result from the expression of anti-
homosexual sentiments. Thus, in order to
insure that our decisions with regard to
inclusiveness and hospitality are not
undermined, we do not welcome those who
find themselves unable to refrain from
racist or anti-gay expression in Troth life.

TROTH OFFICERS AND MEMBERS
OF THE HIGH REDE
THE HIGH REDE
The High Rede is the Troth's Board of
Directors. Elected for three-year terms, the
Rede is the chief policy-making body of the
Troth. The Steersperson (Chairperson of the
Board) is elected from the body of current
and former Redespersons, and also serves a
three-year term.

CURRENT MEMBERS OF THE
HIGH REDE OF THE TROTH
Mark "Demarus" Donegan, Steersman
Ben Waggoner, Associate Steer
Patricia LaFayllve, High Steward
Rod Landreth, Clergy Program Coord.
Chuck Harter
Tina Lebouthillier
Carolyn Reyes
Stefn Thorsman
Lorrie Wood

OFFICERS

Shope (Director of Publications):
Diana L. Paxson
Warder of the Lore: KveldlfR
Gundarsson
Reckoner of Accounts (Treasurer):
Andrea Marcarelli
Elections Officer: Victorria Johnson
Communications Director: Albert
Ward


WELCOME
TO

THE TROTH





Honoring the

Northern Tradition






Prepared by
The Troth
P.O. Box 1369
Oldsmar, Florida 34677
What is a futhark?
A futhark is a runic alphabet. Just as the word
alphabet comes from the names of the first two
Greek letters, alpha and beta, the word futhark
comes from the first six runic letters: F, U, Th, A,
R and K. This flyer focuses on the oldest runic
alphabet, the Elder Futhark. Different futharks were
used at different times and places; the Elder Futhark
is a little different from the Anglo-Saxon or
Scandinavian Futharks.
Where and when did the runes originate?
The runic letters were derived from an alphabet
used in north Italy, related in turn to the Latin
alphabet. The letters were modified for easier
carving in wood, and to express sounds not used in
Latin. Their shapes were also influenced by pre-
literate signs that the Germanic peoples carved for
religious or magical purposes. The oldest runic
inscription, on a medallion found at Meldorf,
Germany, dates from the first century. Use of runes
in Scandinavia continued into the 14
th
century, and
in a few areas even later.
In Heathen myth, the runes were first grasped by
the god Odin, after an ordeal in which he hung from
the World Tree for nine nights, pierced by a spear.
Odin later gave knowledge of the runes to all
beings, and rune knowledge was taught to humans
by the god Heimdall. These myths refer not so
much to the origin of the letters, but rather to
grasping the meanings and connections that the
letters represent. This wisdom is a great gift to us.
What are those emblems on the cover?
The cover shows a runestone from Tullstorp in
southern Sweden, made around the year 1000. The
inscription, in a Scandinavian Futhark, reads:
+ klibiR + auk + sa + + risthu + kuml + thusi +
uftiR + ulf +, Kleppir and sa raised this
memorial in memory of Ulf. The Thors Hammer
in a wreath is the emblem of the Troth, one of the
largest Heathen organizations today.
What is The Troth?
The Troth is one of several international
organizations that promote the ancient religion of
the Northlands, known as satr, Heathenry, and by
other names. We are incorporated as a non-profit
religious corporation in the state of Texas, and are
recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as
a tax-exempt religious organization.
The Troth publishes a quarterly magazine,
Idunna, along with other writings on Heathen belief
and practice. We serve as a networking organization
for individuals and kindreds, and we try to assist our
members to form local groups to practice our
religion and make it more widely available. Once a
year, the Troth sponsors a major gathering at which
members and interested folks conduct workshops
and ceremonies, and discuss and demonstrate their
many skills and practices. The Troth also conducts a
certification program for clergy, incorporating
training in lore, theology, ritual, and counseling.
The Troth believes that the Gods call whom
they willregardless of race, ethnic origin, gender,
or sexual orientation. To hear their call is a joy, an
honor, and also a duty. If you hear that call, and you
are willing to live by our values and honor our
Gods, then we invite you to take your place among
friends and kin, and bring new honor and strength to
our ancient Heathen faith.
How can I find out more?
Visit the main website of The Troth at
http://www.thetroth.org/
E-mail the Troth at troth-
contact@thetroth.org
The Troth has a network of local coordinators, or
Stewards, who are happy to answer questions and
provide contacts. To find your nearest Steward, go
to http://www.thetroth.org/
memsvc/stewards/
Write to the Troth at the address on the front of
this flyer.
2003, The Troth
PO Box 1369
Oldsmar, FL 34677
This material may be reproduced freely but
may not be altered
What are runes?
The word rune or runa meant secret or
mystery in the Germanic languages. It later came
to mean the letters used to write various Germanic
languages, including Old Norse, and Old English,
up to about 1300 AD. The old meaning of
mystery still persists: runes were, and are, deeply
significant in Heathen magic and esoteric lore.
How were runes used?
Runes can be used in the same ways as any
writing system. Originally they were carved or
scratched on wood, stone or metal, but manuscripts
written in runes also exist. Messages of all kinds,
from business letters and Christian prayers to love
charms and obscene graffiti, have been found carved
in runes on medieval artifacts. Runes were widely
used in Scandinavia for memorial inscriptions to
the deceased, even well after Christianization.
Perhaps the most famous historical use of runes
was the carving of magic formulas. Artifacts and
literary references show that runes, either singly or
in longer inscriptions, were carved on amulets
(taufr), gear and weapons for protection, healing, or
cursing. Rune-carving for magical purposes was
often done in conjunction with sung or chanted
spells (galdr); magical runes were usually colored
after carving. Runes or other symbols carved on
slips of wood were also used for divination.
Heathens use runes today for all of these purposes.
What do the runes mean in religion and
magic?
Rune letters are symbols for shaping forces and
patterns that operate throughout the cosmos. They
can also be seen as symbols of the many aspects of
the human mind. We learn their symbolic
meanings from their names and descriptions in a
few medieval rune poems written in Norse and
Old English, from other literary references, from
artifacts, and also from experience and meditation.
This flyer can give only the briefest idea of all that
the runes mean.
The Elder FutharkA Brief Overview
Each rune is given with its reconstructed name in Proto-Germanic, the meaning of its name, and its symbolic
meanings and associations.
' fehu (cattle)riches; movable wealth;
vital energy; fire; the gods Frey and Freya
' uruz (wild ox)strength; independence;
raw power; shaping force; health and healing
' thurisaz (giant) aggression; defense;
directed force; the god Thor
' ansuz (god)higher consciousness;
inspiration; wisdom; the god Odin
raidho (riding)travel; journey of life;
communication; rhythm; justice and right
kenaz (torch)craft; creativity; intellect;
energy harnessed towards a goal
` gebo (gift)exchange; balance; bonds of
friendship and obligation; sexual union
' wunjo (joy)happiness; ecstasy;
harmony; friendship; will; confidence
' hagalaz (hail)change; destruction
leading to new creation; patterns
1 naudhiz (need)resistance; opposition;
danger; friction; strengthening the will
' isa (ice)stillness; stability; calmness;
stagnation; blockage; barrenness; cold
jera (year)cycle of seasons; patience;
harvest; reward; results of past actions
eiwaz (yew tree)life and death; axis of the
universe; shamanic journeying
' perthro (dice-cup or gaming piece)fate or
destiny; birth; hidden things; mysteries
elhaz (elk)protection; defense; sacred
space; honor; connection with divine
` sowilo (sun) light; advancement; growth;
evolution; victory; attainment of goals
tiwaz (the god Tyr)victory; justice; truth;
sacrifice for greater good; motivation
berkano (birch tree)growth; renewal;
transformation; Goddesses; female sexuality
' ehwaz (horse)journeying; faithfulness;
emotion; partnerships; trust
' mannaz (man)human life; self-
knowledge; rational mind; human condition
' laguz (lake)organic life; birth and death;
the unconscious mind; concealment
Ingunaz (the god Freyr-Ing)fertility;
health; peace; latent power; male sexuality
' dagaz (day)paradox and resolution;
enlightenment; safety; clarity; revelation
othala (inherited land)property;
boundaries; heritage; inborn abilities
What is The Troth?
The Troth is a religious organization, dedicated to exploring, practicing and promoting the
pre-Christian religion of the Germanic peoples, who include the English, Norse, Icelanders,
Swedes and Germans, among others. Our religion today is known by various names, including
satr, Heathenry, the Elder Troth, Theodism, and others. Although there are many variations
in beliefs and practices within this faith, we all share a defining personal loyalty to, or "Troth"
with, the gods and goddesses of the Northlands, such as Odin, Thor, Frigga, and many others;
a deep respect for our Germanic religious, cultural and historical heritage; and a strong
determination to practice the moral principles followed by our noble predecessors.
The Troth publishes a quarterly magazine, Idunna, along with other writings on heathen
belief and practice. We serve as a networking organization for individuals and kindreds, and we
try to assist our members to form local groups to practice our religion and make it more
widely available. Once a year, the Troth sponsors a major gathering, Trothmoot, at which
members and interested folks conduct workshops and ceremonies, and discuss and demonstrate
their many skills and practices. The Troth also operates a clergy training program,
incorporating both academic study of lore and theology and training in ceremonial practice,
group organization, and counseling. We are incorporated as a non-profit religious corporation
in the state of Texas, and are recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt
religious organization.
The Troth believes that the Gods call whom they willregardless of race, ethnic origin,
gender, or sexual orientation. To hear their call is a joy, an honor, and also a duty. If you hear
that call, and if you are willing to live by our values and honor our Gods, then we invite you
to take your place among friends and kin, and bring new honor and strength to our ancient
Heathen faith.
How can I find out more about The Troth?
Visit the main website of The Troth at http://www.thetroth.org/
The Troth has a network of local coordinators, or Stewards, who are happy to answer
questions and provide contacts. To find your nearest Steward, go to
http://www.thetroth.org/memsvc/stewards/
E-mail the Troth at troth-contact@thetroth.org
Write to the Troth at the address on the front of this pamphlet.
What are those emblems on the cover?
The cover shows a runestone from Tullstorp in southern Sweden, made around the year
1000. The inscription, in the Younger Futhark, reads: + klibiR + auk + sa + + risthu +
kuml + thusi + uftiR + ulf +, Kleppir and sa raised this memorial in memory of Ulf. The
Thors Hammer in a wreath is the emblem of the Troth.
2003, The Troth
PO Box 1369
Oldsmar, FL 34677
This material may be reproduced freely but may not be altered
What are runes?
The word rune originally meant secret or mystery in the Germanic languages; it is also
related to words for counsel. A rune is a mystery of the cosmos, which manifests itself in
all dimensions. A rune is also the sign and the sounds which represent the mystery, through
which the mystery can be understood and worked with. In particular, the word rune refers to
the letters used to write various Germanic languages, such as Common Germanic, Gothic, Old
Norse and Old English, between about 250 BC and 1200 AD.
Why do rune letters have such angular shapes?
The angular appearance of the rune letters stems from the fact that they were originally
designed to be carved on wood. Curved lines are difficult to carve, and horizontal cuts are
likely to blend into the grain (and possibly split the wood), and so the rune letters are usually
made up of vertical and diagonal strokes. Some wooden objects with engraved runes have
survived, but most rune inscriptions that have come down to us were carved or cast on more
durable materials, such as stone, pottery, or metal. Carved runes were often colored or stained
with blood or paint. Medieval paper and parchment manuscripts, written in part or completely
in runes, have also come down to us.
For what purposes were runes used?
Rune letters were and are used in the same ways as any writing system. Messages of all
kinds, from business letters and Christian poetry to love charms and obscene graffiti, have
been found written in runes on medieval artifacts. Runes were widely used in Scandinavia and
Britain for memorial inscriptions, even well after the introduction of the Latin alphabet.
However, perhaps the most famous historical use of runes was in magical practices.
Artifacts and literary references show that runes were carved on amulets (taufr) and weapons for
protection, healing, blessing or cursing. There is indirect evidence for the use of rune sounds
in chant-magic (galdor). Runes were also used in divination: a 9
th
-century German bishop
wrote, Those whom we call heathens use these letters to record their poems, magical songs
and predictions." Heathens today still use runes for all of these purposes.
Are runes different from other ancient alphabets and divination systems?
Yes, very much so. Runes are sometimes confused with ogham, an alphabet used by the
Irish and other Celtic peoples (also called the Beth-Luis-Nin alphabet, after the names of the
first three letters). However, the shapes and meanings of the ogham letters are quite different
from those of the runes. Some recent writers have tried to link runes with the Kabbalistic Tree
of Sephiroth, or the Tarot, or the Hebrew alphabet, or the I Ching. Most runemasters today
would argue that theres no real need to do this: we have enough knowledge about how the
runes were used in ancient times to recreate a free-standing system of knowledge. Other
modern writers have developed systems of correspondences between runes and gemstones,
herbs, or constellations. These should be evaluated on their own merits, through experience.
othala (inheritance)long o
In contrast to fehu, which represents liquid assets such as money, othala is an old term for
ancestral land. Odal-land was land that had stayed in a family for many generations. We now
see othala as a symbol for everything that a person inherits from his or her family. These may
include inborn talents, genetic traits, and customs and attitudes learned in the family, as well
as physical property. Othala is also a rune of the family itself, of ancestors and kinfolk,
whether by blood or by adoption. It symbolizes boundaries and stability.
How can I find out more about the runes?
There are many books on the runes. Some are well-researched and of high quality. Others
contain flawed informationbe careful! Look for books that contain documented references to
ancient texts, artifacts, and other sources. Some of the original texts with the best information
on how runes were used in ancient times include:
Hollander, Lee M. (translator). The Poetic Edda. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1962.
Tacitus. H. B. Mattingly (translator). The Agricola and the Germania. Harmondsworth:
Penguin Books, 1970.
Palsson, Hermann and Paul Edwards (translators). Egils Saga. Harmondsworth: Penguin
Books, 1976.
For historical overviews of the runes, the following books are excellent:
Elliot, R.W.V. Runes: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Manchester: Manchester University
Press, 1987.
Page, R. I. Reading the Past: Runes. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.
To learn more about the magical and religious meanings of the runes, look for these books:
Aswynn, Freya. Northern Mysteries and Magick. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 2002.
Gundarsson, KveldulfR H. Teutonic Magic. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1990. Out of print,
but now available on the WWW at http://www.aswynn.co.uk/
Paxson, Diana. Taking Up The Runes. York Beach, ME: Weiser, 2005. [Not yet printed,
but itll be worth the wait.]
Thorsson, Edred. Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic. York Beach, ME: Weiser, 1984.
Thorsson, Edred. Runelore: A Handbook of Esoteric Runology. York Beach, ME: Weiser,
1987.
On the WWW, check out these sites:
The Angelseaxisce Ealdriht: http://www.ealdriht.org/
The Rune-Gild: http://www.runegild.org/
Jordsvins Rune Pages: http://home.earthlink.net/~jordsvin/Runes/Index.htm
Our Troth: http://www.thetroth.org/ourtroth/
between the Gods and the earth, partaking in the nature of both. Mannaz is the rune of the
human condition, of intellect and the rational mind. It stands for the perfect balance of
reason and intuition, of mind, soul and spirit. Like othala, it also symbolizes inheritance;
mannaz represents wisdom gained from your ancestors.
' laguz (lake) or laukaz (leek)l
The Vikings and their kin depended on water voyages for their survival and prosperity, but
they knew the dangers well. The Old English Rune Poem associates this rune with a stormy
sea voyage: the sea waves strongly terrify, and the sea-steed [ship] obeys not its bridle.
Laguz thus has two sides; it can bring benefits or dangers. It may be referred to in the
Sigrdrifuml as one of the sea-runes which should be carved on a ship to protect it at sea.
In a more psychological sense, laguz represents the deep waters of the unconscious mind,
which can be a source of life-giving insight, but which may also storm and rage, or stagnate
and become toxic if not allowed to flow. Laguz is also the water within the Well of Wyrd
itself, which conceals both great power and potential dangers. This runes alternative name,
laukaz, means leek or garlic. Leeks were used in Norse magic to defend against poison.
ingunaz or ingwaz (the god Ing)the ng sound, as in finger and ring
Ing, or Yngvi as he was called in Sweden, is more commonly known by his title Frey or
Freyr (in Norse) or Frea (in Old English). Both titles mean the lord, and in some ways Freyr
is like the Lord of Wiccan tradition. The Norse history Heimskringla tells that Freyr was
invoked for peace and good seasons and called the god of the world or the god of mans
life. Yngvi-Freyr bestows riches, fertility, and other bounty for humans to enjoy. The
ingunaz rune is also connected with male sexuality and fertility; it is the male counterpart to
berkano. Yet Freyr can be a warrior as well, and he is an ancestor of the old royal families of
England and Scandinavia.
' dagaz (day)d, sometimes dh or voiced th
In the heroic poems of the Volsung cycle, the heroine Brynhild speaks a prayer to the Day
after Sigurd has awakened her from a magical sleep: Hail, ye Day! Hail, ye Days sons! Hail
Night and daughter of Night! Dagaz is the rune of awakening, of enlightenmentof things
that finally dawn on you. Dagaz can stand for the resolution of paradoxes, and for full
awareness of ones surroundings. It is a rune of revelation, unlike perthro, which is a rune of
concealment and mystery. It can mean a new beginning on a higher level, or new insight and
wisdom. Finally, in folklore, daylight causes trolls and other night creatures to turn to stone;
this rune can be used to protect against literal or figurative creatures of the night.
How did the runes originate?
In the mundane sense, the rune letters were probably derived from a north Italic alphabet.
Other theories suggest derivations from a version of the Greek alphabet, the Etruscan alphabet,
or the Latin alphabet (which themselves were derived from the Greek alphabet). This explains
why many rune letters look like angular versions of our own. Some rune letters were added or
modified to express sounds not used in Latin or North Italic tongues. The oldest true rune
inscription dates from about the year 50, but runes may have been in use for a century or more
before that date. Before the invention of the runes, the Germanic peoples carved various holy
symbols in stone for religious or magical purposes, some of which are very much like rune
letters. These signs are commonly called Hllristningar today. The shapes and meanings of
these signs are thought to have influenced the final form and meaning of the runes.
What is a futhark?
A futhark is a rune alphabet. Just as the word alphabet comes from the names of the first
two Greek letters, alpha and beta, the word futhark comes from the first six rune letters, F,
U, Th, A, R and K. Different futharks were used at different times and places.
This flyer focuses on the oldest rune alphabet, the Elder Futhark of twenty-four letters.
This futhark was used in Germany and Scandinavia until about 600 AD. Later futharks added,
changed or deleted various letters, reflecting changes in the languages spoken by the carvers.
Changes in the sounds of certain letters explain why the Anglo-Saxon or Anglo-Frisian
Futhark is technically a futhorc. The Anglo-Saxon Futhorc has twenty-nine letters (later
expanded to thirty-three in northern England), some of which represented sounds that were
unique to the Old English language. The various Scandinavian or Younger Futharks, used by
the Vikings among others, contain only sixteen rune letters, many of which have simplified or
otherwise modified shapes. The Anglo-Saxon Futhorc (top) and the Danish version of the
Younger Futhark (bottom) are shown below:
Incidentally, J.R.R. Tolkiena professor of Old English who knew the runes wellused
English runes in The Hobbit, and developed his own runic alphabet in The Lord of the Rings.
His rune alphabet is quite different from the ones that were used historically.
How are runes used in divination?
The Roman author Tacitus described ancient German divination. The querent cut slips of
wood from a fruit-bearing tree, marked them with distinguishing signs, and tossed the slips
onto a white cloth. Then he would take up three of the slips and interpret their meaning.
Tacitus didnt describe the signs, but many scholars think that they were runes or rune-like
symbols. Similar divinations seem to have been carried out in Anglo-Saxon England, and the
Rune Poems are thought to contain clues to the meanings of the runes in divination.
Today, rune-lots (rune letters used for divination) may be drawn on cards or carved into
pieces of wood, stone, glass or metal. Sets of runes can be purchased, but most experienced
runecasters feel that the best set of rune-lots is the one that a caster makes himself. The
simplest way of divination is to meditate on a question and then draw three runes at random.
The first rune that is drawn represents actions or factors in the past that are actively
contributing to the situation at hand. The second rune represents the current state of affairs.
The third rune represents what would be expected to result, growing out of the present
situation and its past influences. However, the third rune does not represent unalterable fate.
More complicated divination spreads are used by some runeworkers, some of which have
been inspired by Tarot card spreads. Some runecasters read runes using the principle of
inversion: a rune that appears upside-down in a divinatory spread represents an inversion or
blockage of what it would mean appearing right side up. Others dont believe that inversion is
importantnine of the runes look the same whether inverted or not, anyway. Some
runecasters use the position of the runes with respect to each other to distinguish between
positive and negative aspects. If you study rune divination further, you should keep records and
find out what gives you the best results.
How are runes used in talismanic magic?
Any rune or combination of runes may be engraved on an object that the runemaster
carries or gives to someone else. The power of the rune is loaded into the object by the act
of carving, by the runecarvers songs or spells (galdor), and usually by inlaying color into the
rune as well. Traditionally, runes are colored red, whether with blood or with other natural red
pigments such as ochre.
One of the most powerful kinds of magic in Viking times was the nidhstong, the pole of
insulta pole topped with a horses head, set up facing the victims home, with a curse
carved on it in runes. There are several references to runes carved on tree roots in order to curse
someone. But runes could also be used for healing and protection; the Icelandic Egils Saga
tells how runes carved on a drinking horn caused the horn to burst after it was filled with
poisoned ale, saving the would-be drinker from death. Healing talismans have to be used
carefully: Egils Saga also tells how a girl became sick when a whale bone with poorly carved
runes was placed in her bed. The runemaster Egil Skallagrimsson carved new runes and made
the girl well. As Egil said, None should write runes who cant read what he carves; a mystery
mistaken can bring men to misery.
wise and brave. His rune is a rune of victory; the Norse poem Sigrdrifuml recommends that
a warrior who wants victory should carve runes on his sword and call on Tyr. This rune is also
linked with the Old English word tir, meaning glory. But Tyr is also the god who sacrificed
his hand, so that the wolf Fenrirthe embodiment of the forces of chaos and
destructioncould be bound before he could destroy the cosmos. Tiwaz can thus mean a
sacrifice to gain a greater good: victory doesnt come for free. The Old English Rune Poem
calls this rune a star that keeps faith well with nobles; over the mists of night it never fails.
Thus tiwaz is also a rune of high ideals, faithfulness, loyalty, guidance, and trust in ones self.
berkano (birch tree)b
This is a rune associated with the goddesses of the Norse tradition, especially Frigga and Freya.
Berkano can represent the Earth, who receives the seed in her womb until it is time for it to
grow again; thus it can mean concealment, the slow growth of potential until it is time to
come forth. On another level, it is a rune of female fertility and womens mysteries. It can
symbolize rebirth; the greening of birch trees is a sign of spring. Along with perthro, it is one
of the birth-runes that aid in pregnancy and childbirth; the poem Sigrdrifuml tells us that
certain runes were drawn on the palms of midwives to help them help women in delivery.
' ehwaz (horse)e
Think of the close bond between an experienced rider and his or her horse; the two
communicate almost telepathically. This rune is a rune of trust and of close emotional and
spiritual bonds. The Old English Rune Poem states that ehwaz for the restless is ever a help.
Like raidho, ehwaz can indicate a journey, whether outward or inward; it can also symbolize
the integration of the various parts of the psyche into a harmonious whole. Heathens consider
the horse to be sacred to the gods Odin and Freyr. Some Germanic tribes observed the actions
of sacred horses to divine the will of the Gods; thus this rune, along with elhaz, can be a rune
of receiving divine wisdom.
' mannaz (man)m
Mannaz is linked with the god Heimdall in the Norse myths. Heimdall is the watchful guardian
of the gods home Asgardh. As the poem Rgsthula tells, he is father to the different classes
of humans, and he taught runes to his children. The Norwegian and Icelandic rune poems tell
us that Man is the increase of dust, and the Old English poem also reminds us that our frail
flesh must return to the soil. Man is mortal, destined to die and return to the Earth that bore
him. But nonetheless, we still carry in ourselves Heimdalls gift, the spark of divine heritage.
We are able to claim this heritage as our own if we prove ourselves worthy and willing. The
Abecedarium Nordmannicum calls this rune man in the middlestanding
and death and rebirth, and of the synthesis between opposing forces. Finally, yew was the
favored wood for making bows, and is associated with Ullr, the god of hunting and archery
who protects fighters. This rune can be a protective symbola piece of war-gear, as the
Old English Rune Poem says.
' perthro (gaming piece or dice-cup)p
The meaning of the word perthro isnt clear, but the likeliest idea is that it means a board-
game piece, or possibly a dice-cup. The Old English Rune Poem calls it play and laughter
amongst bold men, where warriors sit in the beer hall, happy together. Yet perthro isnt
purely a rune of amusement; board games are linked in the heathen lore with wyrd, a concept
something like fate but less rigid. Many runecasters today see perthro as the Mother-Rune,
the rune of wyrd itself. It is the Mystery from which all the runes spring, and symbolizes the
Well of Wyrd. Perthro is also connected with birth. Several modern rune experts have found
that perthro in a divination means that an outcome is still up in the air, not yet fixed.
elhaz (elk)originally z; in Norse a sound between zh and r; x in Old English
Elhaz means elk, but is also linked to the old Germanic word algiz, meaning protection or
sanctuary. The old custom of putting elk horns on the roofs of houses shows the link
between these meanings: this is a rune of cleansing, protection and defense. It also is a rune of
hallowing sacred space, and of connection with higher powers: elhaz shows the posture that a
worshipper stands in when calling upon the Gods, proudly standing straight up (not kneeling
or bowing!) with arms up and outstretched. In personal development, this rune can be used to
rid oneself of guilt and self-condemnation. One of the most powerful protective bindrunes, the
aegishjalmar or Helm of Awe, consists of eight elhaz-runes radiating from a common point.
` sowilo (sun)s
Like its neighboring rune tiwaz, sowilo is a rune of victory. In northern Europe, the sun rises
late and sets early all through the winter; in the far north it may not rise at all. The return of
the suns warmth and light is a victory of light over darkness, and a cause for celebration.
Sowilo is also linked with healing and with restoring life energy, and with personal power and
the will to act. In magic it can be used to aid a good cause to triumph (although it the cause
isnt really good, the magic may easily backfire). Finally, it is a rune of honor; a verse in the
Havaml compares the light of the sun with a life lived without disgrace.
tiwaz (the god Tyr)t
The god Tyr or Tiw is the god of rightness and cosmic order; the Norse knew him to be both
How do we know what the runes mean?
Several poems have survived from England and Scandinavia that list each rune and give
clues to its meaning in a stanza. These include the Old Norwegian Rune Rhyme, the Old
Icelandic Rune Poem, the Abecedarium Nordmannicum, and the Old English Rune Poem.
Most of the books listed at the end of this pamphlet contain translations of the rune poems.
Many clues to the runes uses and meanings can also be found in the Poetic Edda, a
collection of Old Norse mythological and heroic poems. Other clues are scattered through the
sagas, the prose tales of Iceland that preserve much Heathen lore. Carvings, memorial stones,
and other artifacts often yield further clues to how the runes should be used. Finally, the
intuition and inspiration of knowledgeable runemasters, guided by the surviving ancient lore,
has enabled us to construct our modern understanding of the runes.
What is a bindrune?
A bindrune is a symbol made of two or more runes that share strokes. Some bindrunes
were used simply to save space, rather like we would use abbreviations in modern English. In
other cases, bindrunes were (and are) used magically, to combine the influences of two or more
runes. For example, a talisman to gain wealth might include the fehu rune on itbut money
becomes a source of strife if its hoarded; it has to circulate freely. Thus if you wanted to
attract money but avoid greed and stinginess, you might combine fehu with gebo. Several
amulets have been found that combine gebo and ansuz in a bindrune. This is an abbreviation
for gibu auja (I give good luck). It also can be read as give wisdom or give inspiration.
To give another historical example: around the year 1300, a group of Norwegian explorers
left a runestone at Kinggitorssuaq, Greenland; the stone was rediscovered in the 1800s. The
inscription includes three bindrunes that combine sowilo (sun) with the protective rune elhaz,
meaning something like may we be protected by the warmth and light of the Sun. It also
includes three bindrunes that combine elhaz with two thurisaz runes; thurisaz is a rune of
defense and attack, and is associated with Thor, the god who battles the frost-giants. The
overall meaning of these is may we be defended on all sides by Thors power. Since the
explorers were well above the Arctic Circle, these bindrunes make perfect sense!
Bindrunes must be made with care. A bindrune that combines poorly matched or
conflicting runes is likely to have unexpected effects; it may backfire completely.
What is wyrd?
Wyrd is a very simple concept that is oddly difficult to translate, but it has to be
understood in order to use the runes correctly. Heroic poems such as Beowulf often include
statements to the effect that no man may escape his wyrd. The word often is translated as
fate or destiny. However, fate often implies that something in the future is fixed and
cant be altered. Wyrd is a much more dynamic concept than that.
The word wyrd was originally a verb tense, meaning it has become. The word is also
related to words meaning to turn. So wyrd means what has happened, the way things
have turned out. The same word in Norse, urdh, is the name of one of the Norns, three
powerful goddesses who shape time. The other two Norns are Verdhandi, literally what is
now becoming, and Skuld, what should become. Urdh, Verdhandi and Skuld are not exactly
Past, Present and Future; Skuld does not represent a fixed future. Instead, Skuld is what
ought to happen, what would be expected to happenbut always subject to change.
Heathens saw the pastwhat has becomeas constantly guiding and directing the present
and the future, but not determining them completely. Wyrd is the force by which the past
shapes the futuresomething like karma, but without the moralistic overtones that the
concept of karma sometimes takes on.
One of the most powerful images in Norse mythology is of the Well of Wyrd; a great,
turbulent, seething spring. The Norns sit at the Well, at the foot of the World Tree, which
holds all the universes of men, gods and other beings. Past actions drop into the Well of
Wyrd, forming layers of orlog (primal law). These actions eventually come back into the
present, as the Norns take water from the Well to nourish the growth of the Tree.
Another metaphor for wyrd is the weaving of a great tapestry. Countless threads have
already gone into the weaving, which have set the pattern of the tapestry. However, a weaver
can constantly change the growing pattern as she goes along, depending on her will, her skill,
and on what material she has to work with.
Its a little misleading to think of the runes as a tool for fortune-telling or knowing the
futureby definition, you cant know the future, because the future is always in flux. What
you can do with runes is investigate past cause and effect. Knowing and meditating on the
runes can show you the wyrd that has already been laid down, the threads that have already
been woven into the pattern of your life. The runes can help you see how that pattern is
affecting your present situation. They can also give you an idea of what is likely to happen if
the pattern continueswhat the path of least resistance is. Experienced runemasters can
understand this pattern a little better than most people, and can sometimes use their knowledge
to consciously redirect and shape the pattern that wyrd is making. But in the end, you are
responsible for setting your own wyrd. You can strive to shape your wyrd for better or
worsebut in the end, whatever it brings, you must meet with courage and dignity. Even our
Gods are subject to wyrd.
is associated with hardship, poverty, isolation, and stress. However, the Old English Rune
Poem tells us that naudhiz can be helpful to the sons of men if heeded in time. Naudhiz is
connected with need-fire, fire made by rubbing sticks together. Its very difficult to make a
fire that way, but it may be necessary to keep from freezing to deathand need-fire was
considered holy by the heathen Germans. Naudhiz represents a struggle or difficulty that
nonetheless may leave a person stronger and better for having undergone it. The saying That
which does not kill me makes me stronger applies to this rune!
' isa (ice)i or ee
The Norse myths tell how the universe came into being from fire and iceor, as physicists
might call them now, energy and matter. Isa represents stability, permanence, and peace; its
the exact opposite of the fiery rune fehu. On the other hand, it can also represent stagnation
and constraint. In human affairs, it can mean calmness, patience, concentration, the ego (I),
and the numbing of pain. More negatively, it can stand for inertia and sloth. Ice can be
beautifulthe Old English Poem states that a floor wrought of frost is a fair sight. Yet ice
cant be trusted; other rune poems call isa exceedingly slippery, and the Havaml warns
against trusting thin ice. We still refer to a perilous situation as skating on thin ice. Thus
isa can indicate hidden dangers or warn of a false sense of security.
jera (year, harvest)consonantal y
Jera stands for the cycle of the seasons and the agricultural year; the Icelandic Rune Poem calls
it a good summer and a ripened field. It resolves the opposed forces of fire and ice so that
they complement each other for the benefit of everyone. Jera is a rune of slow, steady, natural
growth, of patience, long-term planning, and awareness of the changing seasons. Heathens
often associate it, as well as ingunaz, with the god Freyr, whom the Norse prayed to for peace
and good seasons. In divination, jera can mean that the results of past actions are being
harvestedhopefully for the better, but as the Icelandic Njls Saga warns us, When ill seed
has been sown, so an ill crop will spring from it. The more modern saying What comes
around, goes around is also appropriate to this rune.
eiwaz (yew tree)a high front vowel often transliterated ei or y
Heathens see the universe as being supported by a great tree called Yggdrasill, the center and
axis of all that is. This rune is a symbol of that tree, which is sometimes identified as a yew.
Eiwaz, at the center of the futhark, is the stable point around which the cycles of the world
revolve (jera). Yew wood was considered especially powerful in magic, and was often used for
rune amulets. Yews are evergreen, alive when all other trees have died, but yews are also
highly poisonous. They were traditionally planted in graveyards, even well after the
Christianization of northern Europe. Thus this rune, rarely used in writing, is the rune of life
` gebo (gift)hard g
Generosity was one of the highest virtues in ancient Germanic societies. Gifts exchanged
between friends bound the friendship more closely, as long as the gifting was equalthe
Norse poem Havaml says that a gift always looks for gain. Gifts from a ruler to his
people kept them loyal and faithful; in Old English poetry, ring-giver and gold-friend were
some of the highest compliments that could be paid to a ruler, but a stingy ruler was despised.
Gebo is a rune of equal exchange, alliances, friendship and hospitality, but it also means
obligation. It keeps the power of fehu from stagnating and becoming destructive. It may also
be used in love magic to bring about a stable and fulfilling partnership.
' wunjo (joy)w
Wunjo is exactly what it says: this is the rune of joy and cheerfulness. This is not simply an
outward show of happiness; wunjo is an inner resource that can carry the one who has it
through difficult times. As the hero Sigurd says, To be glad is better than of gloomy mood,
whether all fall fair or foul. Wunjo means perseverance and strength of will, and the
willingness to meet challenges cheerfully rather than giving in to despair. It can be used to
ward off depression and bring emotional and physical healing. It is also a rune of friendship
and kinfolkman is cheered by man, as the Havaml says. In the same poem, Odin tells
of a rune spell that he knows: when hatred runs high, heroes among, their strife I can settle
full soon. This shows the power of wunjo for good.
' hagalaz (hail)h
Anyone who has been through a major hailstorm knows that hail is a destructive and
damaging force. Yet this rune isnt wholly negative. The Rune Poems all describe hagalaz as
white grainand by definition, grain is a seed. The Old English poem tells how hail
eventually melts and turns to water, which nourishes new growth, while the Norse poems call
it the sickness of snakessomething that does harm to dangerous reptiles. Thus hagalaz can
mean the destruction of old patterns, but it ultimately can clear the way for the creation of
something new and better. Despite its association with calamity, several modern runemasters
see hagalaz as representing the seed crystal from which the entire universe came into
existence. It might not be inappropriate to call this the Big Bang rune.
1 naudhiz (need)n
The rune poems call naudhiz troublesome work and a difficult situation, and the
Norwegian Rune Poem give the naked freeze in the frost as a meaning for this rune. Naudhiz
What are the aetts?
Aett means clan or tribe in Old Norse. Traditionally the futhark is divided into three
aetts or aettir. In the Elder Futhark, each aett consists of eight runes. Some Heathens call
the first eight runes Freys Aett, the second eight Hagals Aett, and the last eight Tyrs
Aett. Some rune-workers feel that runes in the same aett are linked in meaning. Others
disagreethis is an area in which you should work to develop your own understanding.
What is the religious significance of the runes?
In Scandinavian myth, the runes were first grasped by the god Odin, the god of wisdom,
death, battle, poetry, and fury (among other things). The myth tells how Odin underwent an
ordeal in which he hung from the World Tree for nine nights, pierced by a spear, until he
grasped the runes. Odin later gave knowledge of the runes to all beings. The story is told in
the Old Norse poem Havaml, one of many poems in a collection called the Poetic Edda.
Another poem in the Poetic Edda, Rgsthula, tells how rune knowledge was specifically
taught to humans by the god Heimdall. These myths refer not to the origin of the rune
letters, but to the grasping of the secret meanings behind them. Runes can be thought of as
reflecting parts of the human mind, and also as dynamic forces and patterns of manifestation
working throughout all the worlds of the cosmos.
In the Havaml, Odin asks us:
Do you know how to carve? Do you know how to read?
Do you know how to color? Do you know how to understand?
This verse refers both to the making of rune inscriptions, by carving them and by
coloring or staining the carvings, and to knowing and interpreting their meanings, both as
letters of the alphabet and as symbols of patterns of energy manifestation in all the worlds.
Today, a growing number of people are seriously returning to the ancient myths and
practices, reviving the religion of the ancient Germanic peoples. This revived religion is
variously known as satr, Heathenry, the Elder Troth, the Old Way, Theodism, and other
names. Not all followers of this religion (usually known as Heathens, satrar, or
Theodsmen) practice divination or other forms of magic with the runes, and not all persons
interested in the runes identify with this path. Nonetheless, almost all Heathens know
something about runes, and honor them as meaningful and sacred symbols. Anyone who
wants to understand the runes, whatever his or her spiritual path, needs to learn, understand,
and respect the mythology behind them, at the very least. Serious students of the runes
should not only memorize the names and sounds of the runes, but should learn to meditate
on each rune in order to absorb its meaning into themselves. Runes are not just cool-
looking symbols or secret letters. They are holy, and they should be treated as such.
A GUIDE TO THE RUNES OF THE ELDER FUTHARK
' fehu (cattle)f
The word fehu originally meant cattle, but it later came to mean money or movable
wealtha holdover from the days when a mans wealth was measured by how many cows he
had! Fehu can also represent vital energy, or talents and skills (which themselves are a kind of
money in the bank). The rune poems warn, however, that wealth breeds greed and misery
unless it is allowed to circulate. As the Icelandic Rune Poem says, Wealth causes strife
among kinsmen. (Anyone who has ever had to deal with a contested will or a messy divorce
will understand this aspect of fehu immediately!) The Old English Rune Poem tells us that
every man should deal it our freely: fehu causes problems if it stagnates. Finally, fehu is
associated with fire, a source of warmth, but also a source of destruction if not carefully used.
' uruz (wild ox)long u or oo
The aurochs, or European wild ox, was a ferocious, untamable animal. Unfortunately, the
European ox is extinct today, but Julius Caesar, in The Gallic Wars, described them thus:
Great is their strength and great is their speed, and they spare neither man nor beast once
sighted. He also mentioned that young men were tested by hunting aurochsa test that not
all of them survived. The Old English Rune Poem calls uruz savage and greatly horned, a
very fierce beast, it fights with its horns, a well known walker of the moors. Uruz thus
stands for untamed energy, wild and independent. In human affairs it can stand for masculine
strength, virility, and courage. It can be used to strengthen the will and personality, and to
smash down obstacles; it can also be a powerful healing rune. But more negatively, it can
manifest in aggression, violence, and arrogance. Use this rune carefully!
' thurisaz (giant), or thorn (thorn)th
In heathen mythology, the race of beings called the Giants, Etins, Thurses or Jotnar often
represent the blind forces of nature. This rune stands both for the giants and for the god
Thor, the storm-god and lightning-wielder, himself the son of a giantess. Thor constantly
battles against the giantsnot to wipe them all out, but to maintain the natural balance so
that humans can live in the universe. In the Old English futhark, this rune was renamed thorn:
very sharp for everyone who grabs it. Thurisaz can be a powerful rune of defense, but like
any weapon, it must be used with caution, or else it can cause chaos and destruction. The
Norwegian and Icelandic rune poems call this rune the sickness of women, and the poem
Skirnisml in the Poetic Edda depicts a man carving this rune to curse a woman.
' ansuz (god, especially Odin)a; in later futharks it represents a short o
The word ansuz in Proto-Germanic became Aesir in Old Norse. The Aesir are a tribe of gods;
their leader is the god Odin (Wotan in German, Woden in Old English). Odin is the winner of
all the runes, but he is especially associated with this rune. Among other things, Odin is the
giver of inspiration, poetry, and wisdom, which he bestows on those whom he favorshis
very name means the inspired one. For this reason, this rune is associated with inspiration,
insight, and higher states of consciousness. In the Old English Rune Poem, this runes name
became ss, mouth, but it retained its link with Odins wisdom by being described as the
primal source of all speech, wisdom's support and wiseman's help. A bone amulet dating to
750 AD found in Lindholm, Sweden, has this rune carved eight times in a row, evidently
calling on Odins wisdom.
raidho (riding)r
The rune poems call raidho the toil of the horse. Raidho means journeying and travel, both
in space and in time. It can be used to protect travelers. Many modern runecasters see it as a
metaphor for the journey of life, and as the rune of communication. The ancient
Scandinavians saw the Sun and Moon as being drawn across the sky in horse-drawn chariots.
In ancient Germanic rituals described by the Roman author Tacitus, a statue of the earth
goddess Nerthus was drawn in a chariot around the land; a truce was always declared during the
time of her procession. Thus raidho symbolizes the cyclical rhythms of the natural world and
the rituals and days of the human calendar. In this respect raidho is similar to jera. Finally, like
tiwaz, raidho is connected with right action, right behavior, law, and integration of individuals
into communitiesthe results of living in harmony with natural laws and cycles. Modern
Heathens often associate it with the god of justice and judgment, Forseti.
kenaz (torch) or kaunaz (sore)k; in Old English it came to represent a ch sound
A burning torch is a way of harnessing and controlling fire for human good. Kenaz is
associated with creativity, exploration, guidance, art and craftsmanship; it takes the fire of fehu
and applies it for a purpose. At best, this is a constructive act. At worst, the alternative name
kaunaz (sore) for this rune, found in some of the poems, reminds us that creative energy can be
misapplied, and that gaining knowledge is not always comfortable. The Norse poem
Havaml describes a good and wise conversation as being like a flame being passed from one
torch to another, until all are ablaze and the room is filled with light. Thus kenaz is a rune of
higher mental activity. Some also see it connected with death, initiation and rebirththe
purifying flames of the forge that strengthen our minds and wills, or the flames of the funeral
pyre that free the soul.
Gra's List of Recommended Heathen Reading
March, 2000, Edition
This list contains only books that I have personally read and found to be of value in some
way. Since I haven't read everything, this inevitably means that some excellent books
have been omitted. My personal opinions and tastes are evident throughout; they are no
more and no less than that.
Mostly, I have listed only books that I believe to be in print, or at least easily obtainable.
If you find that a work listed here has gone out-of-print or become hard to find, or if you
find errors in ISBNs or other key data, please let me know.
-Ann Gra Sheffield
I. Primary sources
These are listed first on purpose. I firmly believe that simply reading other peoples
interpretations is not enough and that everyone who wants to understand how heathens
believed and thought in the past should read at least the major sources that survive from
those times.
The sources below are grouped by culture, not in order of importance. If you are new to
all of this, I recommend beginning with the Prose Edda, the Poetic Edda, and Tacitus;
your own developing interests will lead you on from there.
A. The Poetic Edda
This compilation of Old Norse poems about the gods and heroes is the closest thing we
have to a true primary source for heathen religion. Scholars endlessly debate the age of
the poems, but its clear that at least some of them were composed by heathens and have
survived relatively uncorrupted. The easiest translations to find are by Lee M. Hollander
and Carolyne Larrington. You may also run across translations by Bellows, Terry, or
Bray. Specific comments and bibliographic data for each translation are given below.
Hollander's translation is popular with many heathens they find it poetic and moving. I
find its deliberate archaisms grating, however. A more serious complaint is that some
details are inaccurate.
Larringtons translation is the anti-Hollander. It is highly accurate and literal, but she
works so hard to avoid sounding archaic that the poems sometimes have an oddly
classical flavor (e.g., fates instead of norns, sanctify rather than hallow).
Bellows translation is my personal favorite. It strikes a nice balance between accuracy
and poetry, and it is the one I turn to when reading for inspiration as opposed to fact-
checking.
Terrys edition is the only one I know of that includes The Waking of Angantyr. This
poem is not in fact Eddic (it comes from the Sage of Hervor and Heirek), but it is
nonetheless well worth reading.
Bray omits the heroic poems. Nonetheless, her translation is accurate, and she provides
the original Old Norse on the facing page.
Bellows: The Poetic Edda, translated by Henry Adams Bellows. The Edwin Mellon
Press: Lewiston, NY; ISBN 0-88946-783-8. [Reprint of the original.]
Bray: The Elder or Poetic Edda. Part I. The Mythological Poems, translated by
Olive Bray. AMS Press: New York; ISBN 0-404-60012-3. (Reprint of 1908
edition.)
Hollander: The Poetic Edda, translated by Lee M. Hollander. University of Texas
Press: Austin; ISBN 0-292-76499-5.
Larrington: The Poetic Edda, translated by Carolyne Larrington. Oxford University
Press: Oxford; ISBN 0-19-282383-3.
Terry: Poems of the Elder Edda (Revised Edition), translated by Patricia Terry.
University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia; ISBN 0-8122-8235-3.
B. The Prose Edda
This invaluable work was written in the 13
th
century by the Icelander Snorri Sturluson to
preserve the stories of his nations heathen past. Snorri was clearly in sympathy with his
forebears, and his Christianity is rarely intrusive. However, he was a highly educated
man of his day, and this sometimes led him to over-systematize his material or force it
into a classical mold.
Two good translations are available. Jean Youngs is more readable and includes the
major myths. The other, by Anthony Faulkes, is harder going, but the translation is both
literal and accurate. Faulkes also includes the sections on poetic diction that Young
leaves out.
The Prose Edda of Snorri Sturlusson: Tales from Norse Mythology, translated by
Jean I. Young. University of California Press: Berkeley; ISBN 0-520-01231-3.
Snorri Sturluson, Edda, translated by Anthony Faulkes. Everyman's Library, J.M.
Dent & Sons Ltd: London; ISBN 0-460-87185-4.
C. Saxo Grammaticus
Saxo was a Danish cleric who wrote to glorify his nations past. He is pompous, long-
winded, sanctimonious, and misogynistic. However, he has preserved lore about the
Norse gods that survives nowhere else, and it is worth suffering through his prose to find
it.
Saxo Grammaticus, The History of the Danes, Books I-IX; translated by Peter Fisher;
edited by Hilda Ellis Davidson. D.S. Brewer: Woodbridge, Suffolk; ISBN 0-85991-
502-6.
D. Sagas
The sagas constitute the great prose literature of medieval Iceland. Many describe
heathen customs or tell of heathen times. I have listed only readily-available sagas that
have a fair bit of information about heathenism or were just too good to leave out.
1. Heimskringla
Heimskringla is Snorri Sturluson's huge history of the early Norwegian kings. Some
pieces of it ( King Harald's Saga, for example) have been published as separate works.
Two translations of the whole tome are available:
Snorre Sturlason, Heimskringla, or The Lives of the Norse Kings; translated by
Erling Monsen; Dover Publications, Inc.: New York; ISBN 0-486-26366-5.
Snorri Sturluson, Heimskringla: History of the Kings of Norway; translated by Lee
M. Hollander; University of Texas Press: Austin; ISBN 0-292-73061-6.
The most interesting sections from the heathen perspective are:
Ynglinga Saga. Attributes the founding of nations to the gods, who are portrayed as
earthly kings whom the "ignorant" heathens venerated as gods. Contains some fascinating
information about the character and lore of the gods.
Hacon the Good. Raised in England, Hacon comes to Norway a Christian, but his wise
advisors guide him back to the heathen customs his folk expect.
Hacon the Jarl. One of heathendom's staunchest defenders.
Olaf Trygvason. Forced Christianity onto the Norwegians. There are some inspiring tales
of fidelity to the old gods in the face of persecution and torture. Also contains some
intriguing descriptions of heathen customs that Olaf wanted to suppress.
St. Olaf. Like Olaf Tryggvason, only worse. Gets his comeuppance at the Battle of
Stiklastad, when all Norway unites to get rid of him.
2. Other sagas
These sagas are not part of Heimskringla. All are available as Penguin paperbacks except
as noted.
Eyrgyggja Saga. Includes the most complete surviving description of a Norse hof, which
is maintained by a great priest of Thor.
Hrafnkel's Saga. The story of Hrafnkel, priest of Frey.
Njal's Saga. The greatest saga of them all. Iceland's decision to convert to Christianity is
part of one of the major episodes.
Egil's Saga. Curmudgeon, warrior, poet, rune-magician, Odhinist - Egil is a fascinating
character.
The Saga of the Volsungs; translated by Jesse Byock. Norse version of the Siegfried
myth cycle. University of California Press Berkeley; ISBN 0-520-06904-8.
E. Other Scandinavian material
R.I. Page, Chronicles of the Vikings: Records, Memorials and Myths. This wonderful
anthology of snippets from the Eddas, sagas, runestones, and chronicles is the best single
source I know of for getting a feel for the Norse world-view. British Museum Press:
London; ISBN 0-7141-0564-3.
F. Anglo-Saxon sources
The greatest of these is, of course, Beowulf. The Penguin translation is easy to find, but
prosaic and lifeless; several good, poetic translations are also available.
Beyond that, look for a collection of translated poetry that includes "The Battle of
Maldon" and "The Seafarer".
G. Classical sources
Views of the Teutonic tribesmen by Greek and Roman writers.
1. Tacitus
Far and away the most important classical source is Tacitus' Germania. Penguin
publishes a paperback edition: Tacitus, The Agricola and the Germania, translated by H.
Mattingly.
2. Other classical sources
References to the Teuotones, Cimbri, and Heruli tribes are scattered throughout other
classical writers. Check a good library to find English translations; it's probably not worth
owning the whole corpus if your only interest is in Teutonic lore. Works to look for
include: Plutarch's Life of Caius Marius; Tacitus' Annals; Strabo's Geography (Sec. 7.2);
Florus, Epitome of Roman History (Ch. XXXVIII), and Procopius, The Persian War and
The Vandalic War. There are undoubtedly others I haven't stumbled across yet.
H. Miscellaneous primary sources
The Nibelungenlied. German version of the Siegfried legend. Available from Penguin.
Galdrabok: An Icelandic Grimoire; translated by Stephen Flowers. A collection of
magical spells from medieval Iceland. Post-heathen, but some of the spells still call on
the old gods along with characters from Christian mythology, and some heathen magical
traditions survive (though sometimes in rather garbled form). This edition also includes
other interesting examples of Germanic magic such as the Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs
Charm and the medieval German Merseberg Charms. Samuel Weiser, Inc.: York Beach,
ME; ISBN 0-87728-685-X
II. Archaeological, historical, and scholarly works
A. Germanic religion
1. Works by H.R. Ellis Davidson
For half a century, Hilda Ellis Davidson has been the foremost English-language scholar
of Norse religion. All of her books are worth reading; the three listed below should not
be too hard to find and represent some of her best work.
Gods and Myths of the Viking Age. A good survey of the academic perspective on Norse
religion. [Has also been published under the title Gods and Myths of Northern Europe.]
Bell Publishing: New York; ISBN 0-517-336448.
The Lost Beliefs of Northern Europe. Intelligently considers the various kinds of
evidence available about ancient Norse religion, gives a historical survey of fashions in
interpretation, and summarizes current thinking about heathen religious beliefs and
practices. A gem. Routledge: London; ISBN 0-415-04937-7
Myths and Symbols of Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions. A
systematic comparison of Germanic and Celtic religion. Syracuse University Press:
Syracuse, NY; ISBN 0-8156-2441-7.
2. Other scholarly works on heathen religion
Gale R. Owen, Rites and Religions of the Anglo-Saxons. Best single source of
information about Anglo-Saxon heathendom, even though some of her interpretations are
debatable. Dorset Press; ISBN 0-88029-046-3.
R.I. Page, Norse Myths. Short but useful introduction to Norse mythology. Page doesn't
seem to like the Vikings much, yet he is fascinated by them. University of Texas Press:
Austin; ISBN 0-292-75546-5.
Rudolf Simek, Dictionary of Northern Mythology; translated by Angela Hall. Detailed
entries, with references, on all aspects of Germanic religion. An indispensable reference
work. D.S. Brewer: Woodbridge, Suffolk; ISBN 0-85991-513-1.
B. The Vikings (by no means an exhaustive list!)
P.G. Foote and D.M. Wilson, The Viking Achievement. The first and best book to focus
on the whole of Viking culture (not just the raids and mayhem). Comprehensive.
Sidgwick and Jackson: London; ISBN 0-283-97926-7.
James Graham-Campbell, ed., Cultural Atlas of the Viking World. The best "coffee table"
Viking book. Wonderful pictures and accurate text. Andromeda: Oxford, England; ISBN
0-8160-3004-9
Judith Jesch, Women in the Viking Age. Definitely feminist in perspective, but provides
information not available elsewhere (e.g., poetry by women skalds). The Boydell Press:
Woodbridge, England; ISBN 0-85115-278-3.
Gwyn Jones, A History of the Vikings. Focuses on the historical changes that occurred
during the Viking period. Manages to be readable and scholarly, exhaustive and
entertaining, all at once. A fine book. Oxford University Press: Oxford; ISBN 0-19-
285139-X.
Else Roesdahl, The Vikings. Dry, but full of reliable information from a respected
scholar. Hardback Penguin from the Viking Penguin division; ISBN 0-713-99048-1.
David M. Wilson, The Vikings and Their Origins. Includes more material on pre-Viking
Scandinavian cultures than do most Viking books. Thames and Hudson: London; ISBN
0-500-27542-4.
C. The Anglo-Saxons
David Wilson, The Anglo-Saxons. A good basic introduction to Anglo-Saxon culture.
Pelican Books (another Penguin in disguise); ISBN 0-14-02.1229 9.
D. Runes
Ralph W.V. Elliot, Runes: An Introduction. A nice introduction to runic history and
inscriptions by an academic scholar. St. Martin's Press: New York; ISBN 0-312-03491-1.
R.I. Page, Reading the Past: Runes. Another scholarly work, shorter and more skeptical
than Elliot's. Useful. British Museum Press: London; ISBN 0-7141-8065-3.
III. Modern heathen writings
A. Religious practice
Kveldulf Gundarsson, Teutonic Religion: Folk Beliefs & Practices of the Northern
Tradition. Dont let the fact that this is a Llewellyn book deter you this is far and away
the best book on practicing Asatru written to date. It is, alas, out of print, but a copy can
occasionally be found on the shelves of a pagan or large mainstream bookshop. If you
find one, buy it. Llewellyn Publications, Inc.: St, Paul, MN; ISBN 0-87542-260-8
B. Runes and magic
1. Works by Edred Thorsson
Thorsson's works should be approached carefully. He is very knowledgeable, but he does
not always distinguish between scholarly fact and his own speculations. Also, his
interpretations are colored by his Satanist philosophy. Nonetheless, his work can be very
valuable, and his translations of the Rune Poems are excellent.
Northern Magic: Rune Mysteries and Shamanism. Not very deep or detailed, but
provides a good survey of Thorssons major ideas and also gives a taste of his writing
style. Try it; if it appeals to you, move on to Thorssons more serious works (see below).
Llewellyn Publications, Inc.: St, Paul, MN; ISBN1-56718-709-9.
Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic. The first book in Thorssons "rune trilogy", this
book presents his interpretations of the runes of the Elder Futhark and his approach to
runic magic. Samuel Weiser, Inc.: York Beach, ME; ISBN 0-87728-548-9.
Runelore: A Handbook of Esoteric Runology. This book presents a very useful historical
view of the runes and their development. It also gives Thorsson's full translations of the
rune poems. Some of his esoteric ideas are developed more fully here than in Futhark.
Samuel Weiser, Inc.: York Beach, ME; ISBN 0-87728-667-1.
At the Well of Wyrd: A Handbook of Runic Divination. More interpretations of the runes,
with a focus on divination. Contains his most explicit directions for rune-casting.
Probably because I am not a runic magician, this is my favorite of Thorsson's rune books.
Samuel Weiser, Inc.: York Beach, ME; ISBN 0-87728-678-7.
2. Works by Freya Aswynn
Northern Mysteries and Magic. Where Thorsson is austere, Aswynn is passionate. Her
writing shows a degree of Wiccan influence, but she nonetheless has some excellent
insights. [Note: Northern Mysteries is an updated version of Aswynns Leaves of
Yggdrasil and includes a smattering of new material, plus a CD of the authors chants.
The older material has not been reworked, however, and readers who already own Leaves
may want to think twice before buying this new edition.] Llewellyn Publications, Inc.:
St, Paul, MN; ISBN 1-56718-047-7.
3. Other rune books
Alert readers will notice that the New Age shelves of your local bookstore contain
innumerable books on the runes and Norse magic that are not listed here. The omission
is deliberate.
[Kveldulf Gundarssons Teutonic Magic is an exception to the above blanket
condemnation; it has been omitted solely because it is out-of-print and nearly impossible
to find.]
B. Miscellaneous modern writings
Ralph Metzner, The Well of Remembrance: Rediscovering the Earth Wisdom Myths of
Northern Europe. The author has a New Age bent and is overly influenced by the
extreme theories of Marija Gimbutas, but he provides some very interesting perspectives.
The chapter about coming to terms with the Nazi horror and its desecration of Germanic
symbols is eloquent and profound. Shambhala: Boston; ISBN 1-57062-028-8.
IV. Works of imagination
Some of these are out of print, but I've included them because finding used fiction is
usually easier than finding out-of-print scholarly works.
Poul Anderson, Hrolf Kraki's Saga. Reconstruction and novelization of the life of the
semi-legendary hero Hrolf Kraki. Anderson admires "chivalry" and is somewhat out of
sympathy with the Viking Age, but this book is very well researched and an enjoyable
read. Baen Publishing Enterprises: New York; ISBN 0-671-65426-8.
Poul Anderson, War of the Gods. Novelization of the life of the Norse hero Hadding.
Anderson has, as usual, done his research thoroughly and produced another fine story.
Tor Books: New York; ISBN 0-312-86315-2.
Michael Crichton, Eaters of the Dead. This novel was the basis for the film The
Thirteenth Warrior. The first couple of chapters are taken from the (real) manuscript of
Ibn Fadlan. The rest is Crichton's imaginative interpretation of Beowulf told in Ibn
Fadlan's style. Ballantine Books: New York; ISBN 0-345-38324-9.
Kevin Crossley-Holland, The Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings. Modern retelling of the
Eddic myths. Beautifully written and accurate. Penguin; ISBN 0-14-00.6056-1.
Stephan Grundy, Rhinegold. A novel based on the Volsung legend. Satisfying. Bantam
Books: New York; ISBN 0-553-09545-5.
Stephan Grundy, Attilas Treasure. Most readers will probably find this sequel to
Rhinegold more readable and accessible than its predecessor, but I loved them both.
Bantam Books: New York; ISBN 0-553-37774-4.
Diana L. Paxson, Brisingamen. Freyja's necklace surfaces in modern-day California.
This enjoyable novel about modern heathens was penned by the current Steerswoman of
the Troth. Berkley Books: New York; 0-425-07298-3.
Diana L. Paxson, The Wolf and the Raven. First novel in Paxsons Wodans Children
trilogy about Sigfrid and Brunahild. Avon Books: New York; ISBN 0-380-76526-8.
1997, 2000 by Ann Gra Sheffield. All rights reserved.
Krasskova, Galina. Exploring The Northern
Tradition. New Page Books, 2005. ISBN:
1564147916.
At this writing, this is the only mass-market book
in print by a heathen author that deals directly with
todays heathen religion. Features many beautifully
written prayers to the gods and goddesses. The
author reviews the lore on the deities, giving a
number of her own personal understandings, which
not everyone will agree with, but which are always
thought-provoking.
Wodening, Eric. We Are Our Deeds. Theod, 1998.
Order from http://www.theod.net/index.asp .
Deep thinking on ethics and morals from a heathen
perspective, written by a highly respected author in
the heathen community.
R. I. Page. Runes. University of California Press,
1987. ISBN: 0520061144.
An excellent brief introduction to the history of
runes (letters used by the Norse and Germanic
peoples for both magical and mundane purposes),
with lots of pictures of artifacts.
Paxson, Diana. Taking Up the Runes. Weiser,
2005. ISBN: 1578633257.
A compendious tome of rune-lore, presenting the
fruits of years of study and personal experience
with the runes.
Edred Thorsson. FUTHARK. Weiser, 1983. ISBN:
0877285489.
___. Runelore: A Handbook of Esoteric Runology.
Weiser, 1987. ISBN: 0877286671.
Edred has been involved in satr and studying the
runes since the early 1980s; he has a PhD from the
University of Texas. Hes written many books on
runes from a heathen standpoint; Runelore
emphasizes academics and theology, and
FUTHARK emphasizes magic.
What is The Troth?
The Troth is one of several international
organizations that promote the ancient religion of
the Northlands, known as satr, Heathenry, and
by other names. We are incorporated as a non-profit
religious corporation in the state of New York, and
are recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue
Service as a tax-exempt religious organization.
The Troth publishes a quarterly magazine,
Idunna, along with other writings on Heathen
belief and practice. We serve as a networking
organization for individuals and kindreds, and we
try to assist our members to form local groups to
practice our religion and make it more widely
available. Once a year, the Troth sponsors a major
gathering at which members and interested folks
conduct workshops and ceremonies, and discuss and
demonstrate their many skills and practices. The
Troth also conducts a certification program for
clergy, incorporating training in lore, theology,
ritual, and counseling.
The Troth believes that the Gods call whom
they willregardless of race, ethnic origin, gender,
or sexual orientation. To hear their call is a joy, an
honor, and also a duty. If you hear that call, and
you are willing to live by our values and honor our
Gods, then we invite you to take your place among
friends and kin, and bring new honor and strength
to our ancient Heathen faith.
How can I find out more?
Visit the main website of The Troth at
http://www.thetroth.org/
E-mail the Troth at troth-contact
@thetroth.org
The Troth has a network of local coordinators, or
Stewards, who are happy to answer questions and
provide contacts. To find your nearest Steward, go
to h t t p : / / w w w . t h e t r o t h . o r g /
memsvc/stewards/
Write to the Troth at the address on the front of
this flyer.
2005, The Troth
PO Box 1369
Oldsmar, FL 34677
This material may be reproduced freely
but may not be altered
What books should I read if Im
interested in Heathenry?
Heathenry is sometimes called the religion
with homework. Theres a lot of books out there,
and we cant possibly list them all here, but here
are some of the most important:
Lee M. Hollander, transl. The Poetic Edda. 2
nd
ed.
University of Texas Press, 1986. ISBN:
0292764995.
Carolyna Larrington, transl. The Poetic Edda.
Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN:
0192839462.
The Poetic Edda (dont ask what the word Edda
means; no one seems to know) is a collection of
poems written down in Iceland in the Old Norse
language, preserving the lore of our Gods and
heroes. Hollander tries to maintain as much as
possible of the poetic flavor of the original as
possible. He did this by using a lot of archaic
vocabularyits not always easy to figure out his
infamous Hollanderese. Carolyne Larringtons
translation is less poetic but more readable.
Snorri Sturluson, Edda, transl. Anthony Faulkes.
Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd,
1995. ISBN 0460871854.
Snorri Sturluson, The Prose Edda of Snorri
Sturlusson, transl. Jean I. Young. University
of California Press, 2001. ISBN 0520012313.
Snorri Sturluson was a remarkable 13th-century
Icelandic scholar and political figure. Although he
himself was Christian, he respected the old Norse
poetic tradition, and he worried that the old poems
were becoming hard to understand as knowledge of
the old myths was fading. So he wrote his Edda, a
poetry textbook that happens to contain much
information about Norse mythology. The Faulkes
translation of the entire Edda includes a lot of
technical detail on Old Norse poetics. For starters,
you can use the partial translation by Jean Young,
which only includes the mythological sections.
Kevin Crossley-Holland, The Norse Myths: Gods
of the Vikings. Pantheon, 1981. ISBN:
0394748468.
The original writings that tell the Norse myths and
stories arent always easy to interpret. There are
several retellings of the myths; this is easily the
best one. Its well-written and faithful to the
sources, with plenty of footnotes if you feel like
digging further into the details.
H.R. Ellis Davidson, Gods and Myths of Northern
Europe. Penguin, 1990. ISBN: 0140136274.
H. R. Ellis-Davidson is a leading scholar of Norse
mythology, and her books convey a great deal of
information in a clear, straightforward style. This
book is a fine introduction to Norse religion. Also
look for her Lost Beliefs of Northern Europe
(Routledge; ISBN: 0415049377) and Roles of the
Northern Goddess (ISBN: 0415136113)
John Lindow. Norse Mythology: A Guide to the
Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs. Oxford
University Press, 2002. ISBN: 0195153820.
Another excellent compendium of Norse mythology
(although Lindow is disdainful of modern satr).
The highlight is a thorough A-Z dictionary of people,
places and things from Norse mythology. There are
also several essays, on topics such as the view of
time in Norse thought, that are also excellent.
Heaney, Seamus, transl. Beowulf: A Norton
Critical Edition. W. W. Norton & Company,
2001. ISBN: 0393975800.
You probably remember this from high school
English class. This is the single finest epic poem
that has survived from any Germanic culture. Its
available in a vast number of translations; we cant
list them all here. The Norton Critical Edition has
a lot of excellent background material, and
Heaneys translation, while not the most literal, is
a fine work of poetry in its own right.
The Saga of the Volsungs; Jesse Byock, trans.
University of California Press, 2001. ISBN
0520069048.
The Saga of the Volsungs. Jesse Byock, transl.
Penguin, 2000. ISBN: 0140447385.
The best-known of the mythological sagas. Like
the Arthurian legends, the tale of the Volsungs
may be distantly based on historical fact, but this
history is shrouded in myth. Unlike the more or
less historical sagas of Icelanders, this saga tells
a much older legend, in which Odin figures as the
shaper of events, and magic is ever afoot. . .
Smiley, Jane (ed.) The Sagas of Icelanders.
Penguin, 2001. ISBN: 0141000031.
These tales of the Viking-era settlers of Iceland,
written roughly 700 years ago, are entertaining,
action-filled tales in their own right. Theyre also
packed with details on everyday life, war, trading,
and pagan religion. This book is a selection of
some of the best. Penguin publishes many others;
look for Njals Saga (ISBN: 0140447695),
Eyrbyggja Saga (ISBN 0140445307) and the
legendary Hrolf Krakis Saga (ISBN 014043593X)
Roesdahl, Else. The Vikings. Revised edition.
Penguin, 1999. ISBN: 0140252827.
A thorough history of the Viking-era Norse
peoples from Byzantium to America, packed with a
wealth of information. This authors personal
favorite pocket-sized history of the Vikings.
Tacitus, The Agricola and the Germania, H.
Mattingly, transl. Penguin, 1971. ISBN:
0140442413.
Tacitus was a Roman historian whod spent time
on the German frontier. His short treatise Germania
is a study of the tribes and cultures beyond the
Roman border in the first century AD. This is the
single best primary source for the beliefs of the
early continental Germanic tribes.
Gras Top Nine Heathen Books
Because my List of Recommended Heathen Reading keeps getting longer, Ive put
together a shorter list to in an effort to help someone who is brand-new to all of this and
doesnt know where to start. Lets begin with the
Top Three Books for the Neophyte Heathen
Kevin Crossley-Holland, The Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings. Modern retelling of the
Norse myths. Beautifully written and accurate. Penguin; ISBN 0-14-00.6056-1.
Snorri Sturluson, Edda, translated by Anthony Faulkes. Written by a 13
th
-century
Icelander, this invaluable work contains much of the surviving information about Norse
mythology. Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd: London; ISBN 0-460-87185-4.
The Poetic Edda, translated by Carolyne Larrington. A collection of medieval poems about
Germanic gods and heroes. Many of the poems are thought to date from heathen times.
Oxford University Press: Oxford; ISBN 0-19-282383-3.
These three books will give you the basics of Norse mythology. The additional books
below will give you a broader perspective on Germanic culture and religion.
Six More Books
Beowulf. The great epic poem of the Anglo-Saxons. Any recent verse translation (there
are several) should be fine.
H.R. Ellis Davidson, Gods and Myths of the Viking Age. Written by an eminent scholar,
this book is a good introduction to the academic perspective on Norse religion. [Was
previously published as Gods and Myths of Northern Europe.] Bell Publishing: New York;
ISBN 0-517-336448.
R.I. Page, Chronicles of the Vikings: Records, Memorials and Myths. This anthology of
Viking-Age writings is the best single source I know of for getting a feel for the Norse
world-view. British Museum Press: London; ISBN 0-7141-0564-3.
Rudolf Simek, Dictionary of Northern Mythology; translated by Angela Hall. Detailed
entries, with references, on all aspects of Germanic religion. An indispensable reference
work. D.S. Brewer: Woodbridge, Suffolk; ISBN 0-85991-513-1.
Snorri Sturluson, Heimskringla: History of the Kings of Norway; translated by Lee M.
Hollander. This tome contains several sections that reveal heathen practices or beliefs.
University of Texas Press: Austin; ISBN 0-292-73061-6.
Tacitus, The Agricola and the Germania, translated by H. Mattingly. Best primary source
for the beliefs of the early Germanic tribes. Penguin.
2000 by Ann Gra Sheffield. All rights reserved.