"Is Asatru an

Earth Religion?"


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(reprinted and edited from an Internet conversation with permission)

In response to the question "Is Asatru an Earth Religion?"...

Jordsvin: "Yes, if you mean that Earth is a Goddess or maybe there are several Earth Goddesses (Nerthus, Gerd, Jord...). Yes, if you mean we believe there is sacredness in land, sea and sky. Yes, if you mean that we acknowledge earth spirits and work with, maybe even worship them. Yes, if you mean this religion tends to focus on this Earth and this life, without denying an Afterlife. Yes, if you mean that most of us see how we relate with Earth and other living things as partaking of the Holy.

    "No, if you mean Earth is our main or only Goddess, or that EVERY Deity we worship or religious act we perform is centered on Earth.  Hope these musings are useful, Jordsvin"

Jenny Blain: "Very much so - this *whole* post ties in totally with my own analysis of Heathen practice as earth religion (note: not 'earth-based' but simply 'earth religion',whether with capital or small E).

    "Further - We live on the earth and we are of the earth, akin with other beings both bodied and spirit. We recognise this - this earth is part of our cosmology, and it's an important part. It is not lesser. It is not 'impure'. It is not in opposition. It is where we are, the point from which our understandings of other worlds begin, and we live in constant, daily interaction with it/her, however conceptualised, and with earth spirits - whether walking, growing stuff, or sitting here where I am, typing on this computer and looking out at the hills in the rain, and the living trees that are coming into leaf.

    "Hail Aesir, Hail Asynjur, Hail Earth who gives to all."

Jenny Blain continues: "PS with anthropologist's hat on - other anthros I've met seem to have no difficulty is seeing Heathenism as earth-religion - after all there's a whole bunch of religions all over the place that are also 'earth-religion', which does not mean that their followers 'only' 'worship' earth!"

Created by Chandonn and Jordsvin