The Nature of Asatru: An Overview of the Ideals and Philosophy of the Indigenous Religion of Northern Europe.by MARK LANE
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Ásatrú (AH-sa-troo), also called Odinism, is the native religion of the Teutonic peoples as embodied in the fundamentals of their cultural expressions. Much more than just a belief system, it encompasses every aspect of ancient Northern European society. This book is an attempt to explain the basic philosophic and moral ideals of this ancient way of life, while seeking to eliminate many of the misconceptions surrounding it.Demonstrated here is the nature of a faith that has existed for centuries, in spite of numerous campaigns to suppress or destroy it by various powers. Once the reader learns the core values found within this creed, it is easy to recognize how it coincides with our notions of civilization and its evolution. It teaches inner strength and courage, as well as kindness and compassion. In introducing the positive, ethical standards Ásatrú has to offer, the aim here is to rekindle the primal spirit within us all. "The author provides an in-depth introduction for those new to the folkway, yet gives much food for thought to the experienced practitioner. Sure to inspire deeper investigation of the various aspects of Ásatrú. Highly recommended."
-Hengest Thorsson, The Odinic Rite
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I bought this book with an open mind, but found myself disappointed. First, 'the Norroena Society Presents' is a misleading comment, suggesting the very same organization that issued the very impressive 15-v. 'Anglo Saxon Classics' a century ago- it isn't. These folks merely have taken the name. Getting into the book itself, it is written in a good style, but isn't objective. Rather, it is merely one man's opinion. Statements such as 'no one can claim to be an authority on our path, since we have the freedom to accept or reject any idea or tradition' invalidates the very work of those diligent researchers who *are* rightful authorities on Germanic religion. So too, such an attitude suggests something more of a 'make up the religion as you go along' sort of mentality that would leave Asatru at the same level of other less- or non-rooted 'neo-pagan' religions or would-be religions. The concepts of 'Helthing' and 'Runelaw' are interesting, but not (historically) founded, remaining a creation of the author, rather than something attested in historical sources.. Rune-names presented in the text as 'Gothic' are actually based on Indo-European, rather than Gothic, proper: Laguz for Laaz (as preserved in the Salzburg manuscript), based on lagus Fehu instead of Faihu Tiwaz instead of Tyz (Sal.), based on Teiws (or even tius, as Grienberger suggests) Dagaz instead of Daaz (Sal.) or Dags, just to name a few. For the price paid and expectations, I am thoroughly disappointed.
I have no hesitation in recommending this overdue introduction to the Northern European indigenous religion of Asatru (otherwise known as Odinism). Anyone who has ever wondered why contemporary people of Nordic ancestry are attracted to the spiritual path of their forebears will find this book to be accessibly written but intellectually sound, honest but compassionate, and folkish in the most morally-positive way. Unfortunately, most academic treatments of this topic tend to subject our ancestral spirituality to modes of enquiry that are unhelpful - such as Marxist, feminist and various post-modern approaches. Meanwhile, New Age books on the subject often tend to misrepresent it entirely. Mark Puryear explains the Nordic religious tradition with the patience of a true believer who wants only to explain his faith. My one hesitation in giving this book five stars is that there are some word-processing errors. They are irritating but not important, and no doubt they will be corrected in future editions.
Many books deal eith the religion of Asatru. Many of these books don't really consider ethics, morality or values as an integral part of this spirituality. It is wondrrful to have a conservative look on our path, remaining true to the ancestors, yet not be "preachy" about anything! If the reader wants a fresh, different viewpoint on Asatru, then the seeker has found a jewel! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
I just finished my copy, and I ended up immediately flipping back to the front to read it all over again once I was done.. because it was such a great read! This book has changed who I am: I feel refreshed and re-awakened. I want to experience it all over again! Please don't deprive yourself of this wonderful piece of work as I believe it should be required reading for ANYONE interested in tribal religions, and of course specifically Asatru. But the most important thing is to get you thinking, and this book.. with its smooth flow and well presented theories.. WILL get you thinking! I believe this book is going to be REVOLUTIONARY in the Asatru re-awakening, so please, pick up a copy today! Trust me... you won't regret it!