A Future for Odinism in Britain?

By Edwin Harwood:

Odinism 5It’s hard not to think of Harry Potter obsessives, mentally unstable hippies and other social misfits when talking about people who call themselves pagans. But not all people who identify themselves as such can be written off as victims of a hangover from the post-war counter culture;  the sort of people who insist on rather dubious claims to an authentic pagan religion which conveniently conforms to the anti-Christian liberal ideals of sex without responsibility and worship without discipline.

Unlike the morally ambiguous new-age religion of Wicca, heathenism, also known as Odinism or Ásatrú, is rooted in the historical culture of our ancestors. Anglo-Saxons Vikings and many Germanic peoples on the continent worshipped a similar pantheon of gods as those depicted in the Norse mythology of 13th Century Icelandic literature. This pantheon is still worshipped in modern times and in  October 2012; heathens from around England met at the London “Thing” to discuss the future of their faith.

One of the speakers at the conference was Ralph Harrison, also known as Ingvar, who is the head of the Odinist Fellowship; the only heathen organisation to receive charity status in the United Kingdom. He spoke about the role of Odinism as a national religion and its increasing popularity as a result of the liberalisation and modernisation of the Church of England and the rise of Islam in the West. If, as he says, the rise of militant Islam may cause, “trueborn English to seek the security of a trueborn English faith”, then can Odinism fill the gap that declining spirituality has left in our culture? I asked him how relevant he thought Odinism could really be to young people,

Odinism 1“It’s for all age groups,” he replies, “but the young face more changes than the old. It is a religion of the future though rooted in the past. As I said in the talk, I feel there is a spiritual vacuum created from the collapse of Christianity and people are  looking further afield for some of the answers. Odinism is not a difficult religion to believe in, in the sense that it does not require the total abandonment of scepticism.”

For a polytheistic faith to claim to be a national religion in a country which has been Christian for centuries is somewhat at odds with our historical identity. I ask Ralph to what extent there is a conflict between Odinism and Christianity?

“There is a conflict at the level of theology and belief. There is also a conflict or disagreement on the level of morality as well.” He explains, “It’s generally accepted by liberal opinion that we should be giving our money to the Third World. That’s regarded as laudable and I think this derives from Christianity. It’s not particularly consistent with his ideology for a liberal secularist to make a sacrifice such as that. I think that Odinists tend to have a different moral perspective in which we would feel more conscious about the need to help less privileged people in our own community and those close to us.” At this point Ralph is interrupted by the sound of a horn being blown by a large bearded man, “Oh dear,” he says nonchalantly, and then continues, “Obviously Christianity has a long history in England, but it is an imported religion, which Islam is too.” Playing devil’s advocate, I point out that Anglo-Saxon paganism must also have been imported at some stage. Ralph agrees, “Yes, but with the Anglo-Saxons.

Odinism 4It came with the people so it’s autochthonous. I also think that there are elements within Christianity where there is a considerable degree of Anglicisation. So much of what people think of as Christmas or yuletide celebration is actually the pagan element which goes back to an Anglo-Saxon and Danish past, rather than to the Nativity.”

It seems then that unlike other new-age and medieval religions, Odinism, at least as Ralph understands it, is not hostile to English Christianity. The faith, though marginal, does have the potential to provide a spiritual identity for British people in the 21st century because it does not create conflict with scientific learning, only with materialism and globalisation. As Ralph explains, heathens are keen to share the myths and folklore of our ancestors with all the nation; Christian and atheist alike.

“The Eddas and the sagas, the old English literature; all our myths and so on, these don’t just belong exclusively to Odinists. They belong to people of any and no religion, who are of the Northern world. They come from our cultural infancy, the infancy of our nation, from what our original faith was. You might imagine that a Jewish person, who has turned atheist, might still look back to the story of the children of Israel and to their heritage. It’s similar for us. All we see ourselves as is the vanguard of the English, in cultural terms.”

By Edwin Harwood © 2012

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16 thoughts on “A Future for Odinism in Britain?

  1. I have a very Oriental approach to religion. I don’t really believe in anything, but I like Creativity, Cosmotheism, Odinism, and various other theo-philsophical systems. I don’t like Christainity, but I don’t think religion should be an issue amongst natonalists really. If that makes sense? I know full-blown nationalists who are Christians, so we have to work with them although they believe in something many rational people can’t.

  2. Further afield Asatru is setting down roots: ‘Icelandic pagan movement builds first temple in capital’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-31065555
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    While unfortunately there has always been a real or perceived conflict between Christianity and Paganism, I think the depth of this contention is exaggerated and the debates therein unnecessary and superfluous to the Cause. Does it really matter how Nationalists choose the celebrate and revere their spiritual and cultural identity?
    .
    Having said that, perhaps there is more worth to the Cause in an affinity to ancient spiritual faith as this to me speaks more to the tenets of Nationalism: blood, honour, soil, non-universalism, and a reverence of the ancestors. Two examples of which can be found in the following podcasts:
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    Frank L. DeSilva – The Metaphysics of Blood & The Future Folk State: http://www.redicecreations.com/radio3fourteen/2014/R314-141217.php
    .
    Elizabeth Holgrave – Germanic Heathenism & Preserving European Heritage: http://www.redicecreations.com/radio3fourteen/2014/R314-140528.php

    1. “I think the depth of this contention is exaggerated and the debates therein unnecessary and superfluous to the Cause.”

      If you truly believe this then you really do not understand what the problem is and the history that caused it. Imagine if Islam was forced on all of Europe and then people in the future were defending Islam as part of their heritage. This is exactly the situation with Christianity. Christianity is NOT European. It is Semitic, it is foreign.

      The principles of Christianity and Paganism are completely contrary to one another. Paganism teaches that we should live in harmony with nature, to respect life and kin, to strive for Noble virtues like honor and heroism. Our gods tell us to stand proud and do great things.

      Christianity on the other hand teaches meekness, slave ethics, turn the other cheek, resist not evil, obey all rulers, love your enemies, universalism, rejection of life and kin. Their god teaches them that they are worthless excrement who deserves eternal torture right from birth.

      Christianity is not in our blood. It is in Jewish blood. Our blood has been fouled by Christian sensibilities. It was the original Cultural Marxism. It taught us to hand our lands over to our enemies. Why protect them? We are all the same in God’s eyes. Our kingdom is not of this world, remember? Who cares who occupies Europe? Who cares if our blood is mixed? We will all be in heaven anyway.

      Do you see the problem here? They have used Christianity to exploit European altruism and use it as a weapon to destroy us.

      “Does it really matter how Nationalists choose the celebrate and revere their spiritual and cultural identity?”

      Depends on the Nationalists you are speaking of. If you mean White nationalists, then yes, it very much DOES matter. You can’t preserve your identity by adhering to a belief system that says your identity doesn’t matter and should be discarded.

  3. I think our ancestral religion is essential to the recovery of our people. While Christianity has become far more palatable, we cannot forget that it was an alien religion, forced on us by outsiders and corrupted nobility and created by Jewish fanatics.
    I can work with the christian remnant who reject the universalism of their faith and hold the blood and soil of Europe as their first loyalty. I will counter Christianity on a theological and historical level whenever I can, once our people are restored to the worship of the folk, we will be far stronger and less likely to treat foreign races as beloved pets or as a priveleged classes.
    Through the aesir we worship the best features of ourselves, through the vanir, we revere nature and her eternal laws. Through Christ we worship meekness, mercy and the victim as king. Christianity, I’m sure will linger, but when our people embrace national socialism and a healthy worldview, it will die and be replaced with the ancient traditions of our people. It is the followers of Odin who will lead us through the coming horror, just as his followers have already paved the way.

  4. Michael Woodbridge

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    A religion is only as good as those who adhere to it make it. Christianity and Islam although different from one another are both slave religions because they prefer dogma to individual conscience. Unable to think for themselves their adherents prefer the superstition of certitude to that of free inquiry. By contrast, Odinism, as taught now through the ‘Odinic Rite’ or ‘Woden’s Folk’, provides an alternative iconography to the Jewish Bible. It’s a tradition that is not meant to be taken literally but rather to provide a cultural celebration of the changing face of nature as our world spins through its various seasons.

  5. Heathenry no doubt has allot of history on English lands and is every bit if not more so apart of English Culture than Christianity. That being said it too was also an import, Some forget that. As for Wicca, England is not proud enough of this “new” religion. While its true that its world wide popularity has now got many misleading guises, It is worth noting that traditional Gardinerian or Alexandrian Wicca is a religion created on English lands working with British Folk Lor and a broad modern vision on religion as a whole, taking on board all traditions from around the globe and identifying them as different structures reaching for the same result. Witches of the UK would have taken their knowledge from the disintegrating Druids and Heathens .. so on. How can a religion created by the English Gerald Gardner, with clear influences from the English A Crowley (and the English Golden Dawn) not be supported as a fresh new evolved religion English people can be proud of?. The Religion of Wicca did not exist before England brought it to the world, Heathenry was Created in Scandinavia.

    1. As were we, as Germanic people closely related to the Britons who we liberated the land from (who were already falling to the Hebrew death cult) The traditions and myths came from us.
      We share much of the knowledge embedded in our myths with all of Europe, the clash of the gods against the chaotic forces of the universe, the myths that represent cyclical time and the serpent or dragon as the evil that is slain by a warrior nurtured by the gods.
      We came from Scandinavia, our ancestors moved south during the chaos brought about by Roman megalomania and we spread far and wide to slow the corruption of Europe by an empire fed by money lenders and kin slaughter and a religion sent to enslave us, we did that under the guidance of the gods, chief amongst them Odin, known to our folk as Woden who has guided our race for two thousand years and kept us from being destroyed outright countless times, most recently of course in the last century when he came to us as a man who roused his people to lift themselves up and resist bolshevism and usury.
      I can imagine an army of men screaming Valhalla and fighting with fury and fearlessness to reclaim our lands, as novel as Wicca is, I can’t imagine it rousing anybody to great deeds.

  6. Any religion that teaches that one must defend what is right has my vote. Christianity wallows in sacrifice and submission, and in my opinion, it has been the greatest tool is the arsenal of those who wish to dominate and subdue the masses for their own personal gain.

    “A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” –John Stuart Mill

  7. Michael Woodbridge

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    I’m pleased that Paul gave us a timely reminder of the valuable contribution which has been made by Wicca to the natural religiosity of these islands. I was a participant in a small Wicca group for several years but unfortunately the English weather wasn’t sufficiently amenable for those of us who wanted to go sky clad. However, through our ceremonies we were able to pay homage to the joy of nature and the passing seasons in much the same way as the Odinists do.
    The important thing to remember is that it’s not the dogma of any religious system that’s important to us but the religious sensibility which as Aryans we share because it’s of our blood.

  8. The future for Odinism in Britain lies, as it has for many years, with the Odinic Rite. Other versions of Odinism are pale imitations. Asatruism is often no more than universalist claptrap. Wicca is what Marxists and their fellow travellers turn to when they get fed up with the spiritual vacuity of materialism.

    1. Wicca is pretty misunderstood.

      Firstly, at the start it was created by some generally conservative people, Gerald Gardner himself was a member of the Highcliffe Conservative Association. It really started to turn around in the early 80s and become much more feminised and left winged and today this does tend to dominate it, But this is the case with the UK Paganism scene in general, if you are not a raging left winger or Feminist then you are pretty much pushed out of the cricle or you are expected to keep quite about your views. This is a hindrance to Paganism as a whole, as politics should not really come into it.

      Secondly while there is certainly allot of research and history we can be inspired by with regards to Norse and Druid ancient traditions, none of it has been conclusively rediscovered, enough to form a whole new text on it all anyway… we have to be creative to a degree..

      Wicca is a structure where most pagan traditions can be applied to a degree and much of its structure is riddled with Norse traditions its self… after all hereditary British witches surely could only have gained their knowledge from old Viking and Saxon Pagan traditions.. as well as Celtic.

      The truth is, while it requires one to not be so afraid of ones feminine side, Wicca ultimately is a yin and yang thing and is about union of the two sexes and creation.

      But it is a shame it seems to have been made liberal conclusive and sometimes overly female dominant, as I am not so sure that was in the script… Its something that should not be dismissed IMO. I am a Wiccan who also identifies as a worshiper of Norse Deities.

      1. I don’t intend to be disparaging regarding attempts people have made to resurrect ancient forms of Paganism, however as I have already indicated, Wicca and other revived forms of Norse Paganism do not represent a complete cosmology and they therefore fall short of what is required as a new religion for White people in the 21st Century.
        .
        Having said that, your belief in Wicca is no bar to you joining Western Spring and the ‘Scientific Paganism’ of Cosmotheism is largely complimentary with regard to traditional Pagan customs and beliefs and I don’t foresee any future conflict.

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