Over the years, nowtidely Anglo-Saxon Heathen sorts have made it almost a thew to mourn the plight of Anglo-Saxon Heathenry in light of a far more often found Norse Heathenry. Indeed, betwixt this and their bewailing of how much their own understanding hangs over a Scandinavian lore-spring, we might well think that a great Norse Heathendom already thrived and could, without much looking, be happened upon by most anyone.
Yet, when soothly sought after, one soon learns that such is not so. The great nowtidely Norse Heathenry does not seem to be. Any such guess-spelled Nordic troth, if one may find it, must be so fewsome as to be bound to but a few fellowships – hardly a handful. Not even the troth of Ásatrú can, in truth, be called Norse Heathenry. With its Elder Futhark, Anglicized Old Norse god names, and stitched-together wordhoard of Old Norse, German, Anglish, and even Old English, Ásatrú is, in truth, a modern Pan-Germanic Heathenry. A modern Pan-Germanic Heathenry is not a nowtidely Norse Heathenry. Indeed, many Ásatrúar are well aware of as much and even think it their strength.
Maybe it is.
Yet when most Anglo-Saxons Heathens bewail what they hold to be the “evils” of Norse Heathenry, it would seem that their true arrow-mark is modern Pan-Germanic Heathenry, be it Ásatrú, Odinism, or an alike troth held by yet another name. An earnestly eftwrought Norse Heathenry would be far more kindred to a nowtidely Anglo-Saxon Heathenry of almost any stripe. There is, after all, nearly no thew now held amongst Anglo-Saxon Heathens or witnessed within in some Old English or Continental work which cannot be also found in the Heimskringla or some other saga.
Milords [I speak now to other Anglo-Saxon Heathens], the slaughter of strawmen brings only a hollow gefrain that any fool can see through. To damn a Nordic troth is to damn your own Saxon trow. If it is Ásatrú or some other modern Pan-Germanic Heathenry that you hate or believe yourself better than, then so be it. Know this though, wailing on so about that which one has not the strength to overcome or the reach to aright speaks only of one’s own weakness.
Now go do something worthy and let Wóden play his other tafl pieces as he will. And, while you are at it, give hope that one day you might truly have a nowtidely Norse Heathenry to liken yourself to or stack yourself against. As is said in the Hávamál, one spark lights another.
Nowtidely – Contemporary
Thew – Tradition, custom
Sooth – Truth
Guess-spelled – Hypothetical
Fewsome – Rare, scarce
Eftwrought – Reconstructed
Kindred – Related
Gefrain – Reputation
Tafl – A chess-like board game played by the ancient Norse.