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What is Heathenry: a Specific Polytheistic Path

Updated on:

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Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)

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Reviewed by: Tina Caro

The word Heathenry is used to designate a specific polytheistic reconstructionist path based on aboriginal Germanic tradition or to refer to any polytheistic reconstructionist path based on aboriginal traditions from Northern and Western Europe including the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Germany.

These include Odinism, Asatru, Forn Sior and, sometimes, certain forms of Druidry.

One who adheres to these faiths usually self-designates as Heathen.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Heathenry is a modern pagan religious movement that draws inspiration from the pre-Christian beliefs and practices of the Germanic peoples, including the Norse and Anglo-Saxons.

Practitioners of Heathenry honor a pantheon of gods and goddesses, with figures like Odin, Thor, and Freyja holding central roles in their spiritual practices.

The moral and ethical codes of Heathenry, known as the Nine Noble Virtues, guide adherents in leading honorable lives, emphasizing values such as courage, truth, and hospitality.

Heathen organizations, like The Troth and Ásatrúarfélagið, provide a sense of community for Heathens worldwide, offering resources, gatherings, and opportunities to celebrate their faith.

Moral and Ethical Codes

Many Heathens look to the Poetic Eddas and the Havamal among other texts for guidance. 

The Nine Noble Virtues, adopted by the Asatru Folk Assembly and the Odinic Rite were taken from these.

Heathen Organizations

A listing of Heathen organizations worldwide can be found at http://www.irminsul.org/as/aswkind.html

About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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