An ever-changing life inspired by the pneuma


An Asatru Ritual

Filed under: Paganism and Spirituality — feyMorgaina @ 01:17


Asatru is a pagan tradition based on Norse culture as well as its mythology. This is evident in the ritual I attended recently.

My first impressions of it were in comparison to Odyssean Wicca. Creating a ritual space was done by forming a circle as is done in traditional Wicca. There did not appear to be a ritual cast or sweep (however, this may have been done previous to the entry of the participants). Few ritual tools were present. The notable difference was the use of fire and water (melted ice) instead of the traditional four elements of air, fire, water, and earth. The use of fire and water is congruent with Norse mythology where it states that fire and ice were used in the creation of the world. The fire and water was then used as a means of purifying the ritual space (and thereby, the participants in it). Another difference in comparison to Odyssean tradition was the laying down of weapons (even ritual blades) with the exception of the Summoner’s staff.

This ritual in particular was based on the idea of an open assembly in Norse tradition, called Thing (from “thingvalla” meaning “assembly place”)1. Adapting this ancient tradition, the ritual idea was to create sacred space so that people felt free to voice their opinions and views or air their grievances (or both) so that the leader of the community would know each individual’s views.

Overall, I thought the Priest performed the ritual well. The Norse tradition seemed to have been well researched. Providing a sacred space for people to discuss their opinions is a nice idea. However, I felt this would have been better done in a small group. As with any ritual where people are allowed to talk freely with no time limit, some people may take it upon themselves to dominate the discussion. In a ritual such as this one, one person may take it upon oneself to push one’s own opinion on everyone else. To a minority of individuals who may disagree, this might easily feel like “tyranny of the majority.”2

The energy of the ritual was different compared to some rituals that I am familiar with. Since the ritual idea was to remain open to individual views (even contentious and highly political ones), it was left open for both positive and negative energies to enter the ritual. For the most part, people had good intentions behind their thoughts and there was overall more positive energy than negative. However, when the negative energy was projected into the ritual, it was not easy to ignore.

If I were to rate this particular ritual based on the energy and feel of it, the scale would tip towards the low end. Unfortunately, by the nature of the ritual idea itself, the energy in the ritual is entirely dependent on the participants. If I were to rate this ritual based on performance of the Priesthood and the accuracy of the ritual to Norse tradition, the scale would swing over to the high end.

2. John Stuart Mill’s essay “On Liberty” (excerpt located at

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  1. So were the “leaders” of our “Odyssian” community there to here the grievances?


    Comment by Jaime — 2005/03/29 @ 20:01

  2. Hey Jaime!

    Yes, of course. “El Presidente” was present. Okay, that was a joke. Richard is far from being dogmatic!


    P.S. Until I find a way to avoid getting spammed, I have set my site to moderate comments. So don’t worry, your comments are coming through. 🙂


    Comment by Cassandrah — 2005/03/30 @ 02:57

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