on Jun 14, 2014
Let's start with the very foundation of germanic neopaganism.
So, what is it? Basically it is a revival of ancient Germanic beliefs, that originally sprang into being during the 19th century Romantic movement, when romantic nationalism sparked a revival of interest in traditional and ancient German culture.
The most known variants of Germanic Neopaganism are Asatru, Forn Sed/Forn Sithr, Odinism, Theodism, and the political movements Odilism and Wotanism.
So let's go over these terms, shall we?
Asatru, Forn Sed/Forn Sithr and Odinism are largely interchangeable, as the differences in belief and practice between different groups under the same classification can be greater than those between different classifications; whereas Theodism has grown to encompass a wide variety of theodic lifestyle, and would more accurately fall under neo-tribalism. All Germanic neo-paganism follows some variant of the old Norse pantheons, sometimes linked in with animism and ancestor worship.
What about belief structures?
Most forms of Germanic Neopaganism do share a few common belief structures. The biggest one is probably the refusal to condemn behaviors. Instead, the morality focuses on the nine noble virtues to be cultivated, such as honesty, pride, and honour, and leaves the choice to the individual as to how these are to guide behaviour. Neither redemption nor salvation play any role in these choices; although some Germanic neo-pagans borrow concepts of reincarnation and karmic balance from other traditions. Since pure fatalism would be counterproductive to the emphasis on personal choice, the old Germanic concept of wyrd is generally redefined to allow self-determination.
(Short? Yeah, a bit. However, this is just the beginning, future posts will be longer. What do you guys think of having homework go along with the posts? Let's give it a shot, even if it's just this one time, yeah?)
Homework assignment: In your own words, write a short paragraph about one of the variants of Germanic Neopaganism. It can be as personal or as factual as you like.