Yesterday, I tried posting an answer to a new heathen seeker asking me my opinion about which I viewed was the most “true” form of historically accurate and most Ancient form of Norse spiritual Paganism today: 1) “Asatru,” 2) Seidr, or 3) The form of forced intention manifestation singing (screaming) we call know as Galdr.
After posting a long-winded information-packed reply and cited post about this; for some reason, the either-webs ate it..so here it goes, again, lol!
First of all, Seidr is the remnants of the oldest forms of Pagan worship in Indo-Europe and Eur-Asia. It’s practiced now via solid evidence and comparison, (as well as demography and proximity) very much the way we find historical written documentation of it as found in the Icelandic sagas and the Poetic Edda.
Anthropology wise, seidr is now believed to be heavily influenced much by the Sami and other indigenous Europeans all across Europe proper.
Seidr is a form of Scandinavian mythology based Pagan occult and ecstatic worship (shamanism) which is what all Iron age ancient man-kind followed; yep, even ancient NORSE men, lol!!
Spiritual pursuits in ancient times were not a “religion,” (see definition of both words) spirituality was a crucial way of life; and much like gathering food for humans, spiritual veneration of the land, of natural forces, of the Ancestors, and of the ever evolving Gods (in that order) were deemed essential for life to be bearable and understandable.
Seiðkona’s and Seidmann, Völva’s and Vitki’s, not only foresaw the future, its practitioners called upon weather changes, crop manifestation, animal fertility, and human procreation for the betterment of the tribe. These Pagans harnessed the ability to send their will into the cosmos by understanding it and working within it daily, to thwart illness or to defend one tribe from another against attack and domination.
What we call “Asatru” is a religion created in 1972 by a once Icelandic Christian named Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson who was seeking a different faith, so he looked to Germanic/ Teutonic mythology (remember ALL Icelanders came from Norway or Sweden) and he created Asatru based on the only religious practices he knew: Christianity. Beinteinsson then tried to implement what folkways and cultural heritages (as well as ancient traditions he could find via songs and root-work from Scandinavia and other places in Europe) thereby Sveinbjörn made up a RELIGION he called ASATRU. Beinteinsson favored the Aesir, as they undoubtedly reminded him of his lifelong Christian pantheon influences of male dominance Gods, might makes right, and good-verses-evil motif.
The word Asatru means “True to the Aesir Gods,” and the fact when Beinteinsson first rolled out his new form of Norse Paganism, the other Factions of Gods were diminished by his teachings as compared to the Aesir, and he helped re-enforce the notion the Jontunn were to be viewed as enemies of mankind; which is an entire post for another day!
Seidr is the only part of Pagan spiritual veneration documented and left to us in historical and mythological writings, as well as archeology via grave sites discovered in the past few years. It is by far, THE oldest and most accurate form of spiritually authentic ways of being “Norse Pagan” there is for us to re-claim in the 21st century!
~Oh and Galdr IS NOT simply intoning and chanting runes, thereby somehow becoming a “form of spirituality outside of seidr!” It (Galdr) is a form of occult work USED in seidr, and mistakenly due to E. Thorrson, everyone in the U.S. erroneously believes its a separate path of Norse paganism based on runic chanting WHICH IT IS NOT. Galdr is simply an alliterated form of magic incantation (song/singing) that requires special rhyme and is yelled or screamed into the nine worlds.
Hope that helped clear things up!
AND PLEASE READ: https://www.facebook.com/21stCenturyHeathean/posts/375814479644484