When the faith of the Norse/Germanic old pagan traditions came after so many years hidden because of Christianity, there was given a new name to this neo-pagan belief based on the old ancestral traditions of the Northern peoples of Europe, the name was Ásatrú. The name comes from the word áss or in plural Aesir, and Trú meaning faith or religion in Old Norse, Faith to the Aesir gods. This is the neo-pagan beliefs in the Norse gods of the Aesir tribe, the gods of sky, war and culture, which includes Odin, Bragi, Frigga, Heimdall and so on. But others were more focused in working with the Norse deities of agriculture, fertility, love and magic, more focused in working with the Norse gods of the Vanir tribe, such as Freyr, Freyja, Njord and son on, so it was decided that those people would be called Vanatrú. Then came a new concept called Rökkatrú, for those who worked with the Norse deities of the underworld, like Loki, Hel/Hela, Surt, Fenrir, Sigyn and so many others. Most who really worship the Norse gods, not just one of its pantheons, don’t have the need to call themselves by one of these three names, but this concept of Rökkatrú was created to remind people that the deities of the Norse/Germanic old pagan beliefs aren’t just the Aesir and the Vanir, there are other gods, more linked to the ancestors and the spirits of the earth which are as important as any other deity or spirit in their own ways. The concept of a world tree isn’t exclusive in the the Norse/Germanic beliefs, it is a worldwide concept in many cultures, it is a spiritual concept in shamanism, when a shaman or a spirit-worker journeys into other worlds, to facilitate the explanation of this idea and also facilitate their own spiritual journeys, there is always three levels, above, middle and below or heaven, earth and underworld, and a shaman has the job to travel between worlds, so the world tree is what connects the spirit to these three levels, in the Norse cosmology it connects to Nine worlds, all equally important, all important to the functioning of Yggdrasil.
Worshiping such deities and spirits of the underworld is some times seeing as something Dark, and such deities are Evil, but this is an idea that came from the Christian concept, which in many ways infiltrated many interpretations of the old European Beliefs, so worshiping or working with the underworld deities and spirits isn’t evil, because in a shamanic perspective, death is a natural part of life, and the powers of the gods are often expressed through nature, but nature isn’t just the beautiful route of the sun in the sky, nor the rain falling, the wind howling or the passing of seasons and theur beauty, nature is also dangerous, chaotic, destructive, death is also part of nature, and this part of nature is often put aside, especially when it comes to neo-pagan beliefs that have picked up all the wonderful aspects of the old pagan beliefs, the most fantastical, which leaves such beliefs incomplete, because the other part of nature is so incoviniente to us, but if we accept it, we can understand the ways of nature in a better way and learn how to live with it.
Nowadays we are concentrated in Heathenry (reconstructionist Norse/Germanic religion), and people prefer to worship the Aesir gods and the Vanir gods, but the gods aren’t divided into good and bad, all of them are worthy to honor, all of them have their “area of expertise”, all of them are connected with specific things that we need to understand and also work with, to balance our lifes with the natural world, and have balance within ourselves.
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