That is because, what i write in here and my beliefs, go further into just worshiping a group of gods, and there are people who are just Ásatrú, or Odinists/Wotanists or Heathens or those who follow the neopagan religions linked to these gods, for exemple “Theodism”, “Germanic Reconstructionism” etc. each group of these is linked to the Northern Pagan Traditions and old beliefs of Scandinavia and Germanic countries, and as i speak of it all and also about northern shamanism, i prefer to “pack” it all into the lable of Northern Pagan Traditions or Northern Spiritual Ways.
Why do you call it, Northern Pagan Traditions?
Well, i do call it by this name or, northern traditional paganism, as a reference to the old ways and custom of the northern countries of Europe, in Scandinavia, before the Christianization of Europe, not only the religion, but also the spiritual paths of the northern shamanism and the connections with the land spirits and ancestors, spiritual ways and beliefs such as this, that date about 40.000 of history.
Why not call it, wicca?
In terms of beliefs, culture, ethics, history, religion, teachings etc. there is a big difference between being a wicca or a wiccan practitioner with being a person that follows and practices the northern ways. Wiccans tend to belief in many gods of different pantheons, a mixture of Norse gods, with Celtic ones,Egyptian gods, Greek etc., there is also a tendency to leave things in a shallow way, a limitation offestivities and celebrations, and people dont dig further into the matter of the soul, there isn’t questioning, most of the time it seems that wiccans, are former christians who are tired of christianity and are looking for different religions and beliefs, and go looking for the ancient ones that seem more reliable, and have no connection to any of the Abrahamic religions. As a matter of fact, many wiccans use the image of christ and his mother, as the figure of the god and of the goddess, there is also that tendency to worship a goddess as the mother nature or the moon goddess, and a god, Cernunnos, the celtic god of the forests, animals, beasts and mystery. These is also a connection to the Indian word “Karma” and the following of that belief, that fate exists and everything in out lifes will happen according to an astral plan, and the wrong you do to others, it will come back to you twice as much. So in terms of being apractitioner or a follower of the northern ways, things dont get too superficial, there is also a lot of gods and it is also a pagan belief yes, but there isn’t that tendency to mixture other gods, there is an exposure of faith to these gods and only to them, to stay true to the beliefs, convictions and virtues. In theTraditional Nordic paganism, people do not seek a better place elsewhere, in an other world in the afterlife, because this world is beautiful and life is a blessing, each one of us has a purpose, and victory must be attained. Fate is a subject, much different than the other religions, the tree Nornes build the fate of each, and it will intertwine with the fate of others and with the happanings of the world, in a great web that connect us all to this world, the afterlife and to the gods, spirits and ancestors, so we must take care of each other, and take care of all living things, but fate isn’t fixed, the only thing that can be certain, are some aspects of life that must happen, like the birth of a child or the death of someone in a certain time, or one person meeting another, or certain problems and obstacles that must appear in our life, in order to make us stronger, constant tests, that will decide if we are capable of living in this world and learning something, so fate isn’t a book where everything is written, in the northern pagan beliefs, free will is given to us all, and it is always up to us to decide how we will live this life, and how we will face all the problems, all of us must fight, and our hearts and minds will make us a good person or not.
We can speak to the gods, and they will help us, giving the best gifts of all, which are, advice, love, wisdom and strength, strength of mind, body and spirit, they will not intervene in our lifes, because all of us have free will, if they did help us, more than they already do, they would take away the credit of each one, and the capabilities and skills that we have.
In the Northern Pagan Traditions, people don’t just pray to the gods or to the spirits of the land, but also to the ancestors, seeking protection and wistom, because they too have lived in this world once, and they know more than us and also what is beyond the veils that separate this world from the other, and they are older and wisest, because one they we will also be the ancestors of someone, and we have to make our descendants proud of what we have became.
Life can’t be always a good thing, there must be hard times also, sorrow and grief, because by that way, we can enjoy life and appreciate it, giving value to it.
The gods of the Northern pantheons are divided into tree groups, the Aesir, the Vanir and the Underworld gods, and each god has a purpose and his/her wisdom is needed in many life stages. The Aesir are more concerned with the strength of mind and body, with the power to achieve victory, to be strong enough to protect ourselves, those we love, and protect all who don’t have the capacity to protect themselves. The Vanir, are more into the fertility of the soils and of all living creatures, and their teachings show us how to respect nature and as we take from it, we also must give, because a gift always calls for a gift, and we must not forget love, because he who doesn’t know love, shall never find peace. The Underworld gods as they are called most of the time, are the gods more concerned with the matter of the soul and how we can enrich it while living. After death, the soul continues to exist, and we continue to learn and to grow as an individual, as a being, and we continue to learn. There isn’s such thing as Hell or Heaven or a bad god and a good god, there are a very big group of teachers and friends that will accompany you through life, and they will give you friendship, advise, love and wisdom, if you ask for it and if you prove you are worth having these gifts. Those who follow the Aesir gods are often called Asatru, and those who follow the Vanir, are called Vanatru, and the underworld gods, the Rökkatru.
So why not just saying, Ásatrú, instead of Northern Pagan Traditions?