Ásatrú And Odinism

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Odinism, or more commonly know Ásatrú, is an ancient religion which predates Christianity and originated in Iceland and Scandinavia. It was also practiced in various forms and names, throughout Europe, and even into Russia. This pre-Christian religion has a wide pantheon of Gods and Goddesses. The religion 's central values include wisdom, strength, courage, joy, honor, freedom, vigor and the importance of ancestry. Like Druidism, Ásatrú is nature-based and worships around the changing of the seasons. Ásatrú is still, to this day, recognized as an official religion, benefiting from tax exemption in the United States.

Historical Background Information
The religion Ásatrú predates christianity, as well as all other forms of
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In contrast to this, it is “estimated” that there are 20,000 supporters in North America alone!, and a further 1,200 in Europe.

Basic Belief System
To the Ásatrú, their gods are living beings who take an active role in the world and its inhabitants. In Ásatrú it is believed that they are not only the worshippers of the Gods but that they are spiritually and even physically related to them. There are three types of deities within the Ásatrú system:
-The Aesir: gods of the tribe or clan, representing leadership.
-The Vanir: not part of the clan directly, but associated with it, representing earth and nature.
-The Jotnar: giants always at war with the Aesir, symbolic of destruction and chaos.
The Ásatrúar also believe that the universe is divided into nine worlds, with Asgard being the realm of the gods and Midgard (Earth) the home of mankind, much like the ancient Norse religion. Connecting these nine worlds is the World Tree, Yggdrasil. Followers of the Ásatrú religion have four main Gods, to which they pray, but had many Gods for all manner of
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It was also a time to remember the spirits of their ancestors and was transferred into the holiday “All Souls Day” or “Halloween”.

Belief In The Afterlife
In Icelandic Ásatrú, there is no singular belief about the afterlife. Practitioners may hold different views. In strict reconstructionism, an individual has multiple souls. These beliefs make sense since according to myths man was created by the gifts of three gods, Odin, Hœnir and Lóðurr.
One soul is called the fylgia in Old Norse, from the verb "to follow, accompany." A kind of double, when a person sees it while awake it means imminent death, as in Njáls saga.
Half of the heroic, battle-slain warriors go to Freyja 's field, Fólkvangr. She is said to get first pick. Helheim is the neutral realm where most people go upon death. Helheim is ruled by the goddess, Hel (or Hela). Oathbreakers and other dishonorable people are eaten by Niddhog, a dragon. Those who die at sea are said to enter another hall. However, most Ásatrúar do not believe in the myths literally. Some believe in reincarnation along family lines. Still, others believe that the dead inhabit their
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