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Heathen Sects For Dummies

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Forums -> Norse Paganism -> Heathen Sects For Dummies

Heathen Sects For Dummies
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 1

Heathen Sects For Dummies

Heathenry can be broken down into smaller sects based off how the religion/faith is practiced and who the religion/faith focuses around. There are five main groups that Heathenry can be divided into, based off how it is practiced:

  • Universalists
  • Folkish Heathens
  • Tribalists
  • Traditionalists
  • Eclectics

There are three sociopolitical types of groups: Universalist Heathens and Folkish Heathens are two polar extremes. In a way, you could consider the Tribalist Heathens to be the moderate viewpoint. So these are the first three we will discuss and focus on in this post.


Universalists
The term "Universalism'' expresses that this religion is open to anyone, regardless of their ancestry or race. '' Some Universalists have extended this racial tolerances to other areas, such as broader lifestyles and political tolerances, and tolerances of religious differences, with mixed results from group to group and between different practitioners .'' Galina K.


Universalists truly hold the view that ANYONE (regardless of who they are as a person, and any personal information connected to them) can practice Asatru and Heathenry as long as they truly desire to work with the Aesir and Vanir. The problem with this is sometimes Asatru becomes ill-educated because many self-defined Asatruars, who proclaim to know the practice, are actually pretty clueless. They often don't know the difference between a blot and sumbel. This allows for a lot of new-age stuff to get thrown into Asatru, and can actually give it a bad name sometimes. But hey, anyone can practice, so their welcome to it.

Universalist Heathens in Northern Tradition Reconstructionist are more accepting of people's beliefs and practices, so long as their practice express's a basic ground of the ancient texts. These Heathens tend to reject centralized authority and social hierarchy and will look at focusing more on groups working together rather than making a exclusive circles.


Folkish Heathens
These Heathens are the ones that their belief in Northern Tradition is a ancestral religion who are descended from Germanic bloodlines, and most Folkish Heathens will disapprove of their Germanic religion being practices by other people ( who are not fully or almost full) of Norse, Angol-Saxon, Germanic descent. Some even have the thought that the Gods will not talk to anyone who lacks in the tie of blood. However some Folkish Heathens will accept forms of adoption or a tie of blood-brotherhood.

Folkish Heathens believe that only norse/germanic blooded people can practice Asatru/Heathenry. They actually believe their bloodlines are connected. You can break the folkish group down even further though: The most well known and disliked sect of Folkish Heathenry is the ''White Power'', ''Hammerskin'' Folkists. They believe only white individuals have the right to practice Asatru. They believe the Gods have nothing to do with anyone of a different skin color. They are affiliated with the Nazi party.


Tribalists
For these Heathens it's not only a focus on recreating a religion but also a culture. This is where a person cannot properly practice a religion without also joining the worldviews/ethics from which that religion has come from and growing from. '' Tribalist Heathens attempt to form groups with social structures and ritual practices modeled on those of ancient cultures and (in some, though not all, cases) the social stratifications of those cultures. They expect- or hope- for those social structures to permeate the lives of their members .'' Galina K.

Tribalist groups will usually have standards as on who can join their tribe because they tend to be more hierarchical and because they have a lifestyle based on the rules of ancient cultures. Tribalists are the ones who refuse either extreme standpoint, making them moderate. I like this description of them:'' The answer the Tribalists have to the question of ''Who can practice Asatru?'' is: ''Anyone who makes a sufficient effort to understand and adopt the culture of the ancient heathens.' '''. They believe that study and effort must be put into it. You should attempt to KNOW and UNDERSTAND the practice before self-proclaiming yourself a Heathen. Anyone can study and learn, though, it doesn't matter what race, age, or anything else you are. This keeps some of the traditional parts of Asatru alive, while allowing for reconstruction of it as well.

Sources:
This article was a combined effort between Fairywolf and Personified.
Northern Traditions for the Solitary Practitioner-A book of Prayer,Devotinal Practices,and the Nine Worlds of Spirit by Galina Krasskova and Raven Kaldera

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Re: Heathen Sects For Dummies
By:
Post # 2

I liked this article a lot Percy. I tend to consider myself a Modernist heathen holding to universalist ideals. I view it all in a grey shade. The gods are gods. The people honoring are simply people. I like to quote Crowley on it "If it harm none do what ye will." Meaning if it doesn't affect me or the gods I really don't bother with it. I'd like to note that I've always found Tribalists and people who practice Theodism to be very interesting.

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Re: Heathen Sects For Dummies
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 3

I definitely agree with your viewpoint of it. Like Tribalists, I welcome others to the practice- but I encourage they study and know the practice before jumping into it. Nothing irks me more than "Heathens" who are just people who listen to bands like Amon Amarth and think vikings are neat. I like this quote: " Heathenry is the religion and practice with homework! ". I think you need to spend time studying it before claiming yourself one.

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Re: Heathen Sects For Dummies
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 4
Very interetsing thread ,Personified and Fairywolf .Thank you, for educating all of us about your path .It is much appreciated .
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Re: Heathen Sects For Dummies
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 5

I think you really have to be careful with the Folkish category. I don't think all Folkish heathens are racist or closed minded, but when it comes down to groups that support the Nazi party I definitely think they give Heathenry a bad name. People just assume we all hold their views.

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Re: Heathen Sects For Dummies
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 6
This thread has been moved to Heathenism from Misc Topics.
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Re: Heathen Sects For Dummies
By:
Post # 7
Another great article, Miss.

I'm learning more about the Norse paths, from your articles, than from some "joke of a book".

~ Never Lost
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Re: Heathen Sects For Dummies
By: / Novice
Post # 8
Thank you for this. I knew there were catigories but not what they were called and classified as. I have practiced heathenry bt never thought of where I stood as for a group. Mostly because I know so few fello heathens, true heathens till coming here.
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Re: Heathen Sects For Dummies
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 9

Heathenry can be a really complicated political type of practice. There are many more sects than the few that I listed up there. However, you'll find that even though there are divided practices and groups (Asatru, Vanatru, Rokkatru or Traditionalists, Modernists, Eclectics) many Heathens just like to call themselves Heathen and leave it at that. Sometimes the segregation of practices just seems a little too exclusive to me. I'm glad you're learning about what types of Heathen groups are out there, though. There's a variety here on the site. :)

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