Polytheistic reconstructionism (Reconstructionism) is an approach to Neopaganism first emerging in the late 1960s to early 1970s, and gathering momentum in the 1990s to 2000s. Reconstructionism attempts to re-establish historical polytheistic religions in the modern world, in contrast with syncretic movements like Wicca, and “channeled” movements like Germanic mysticism or Theosophy.
Many practitioners of folk religions live outside of the original cultures and territories from which those historical religions arose, and reconstructonists consequently face the problem of understanding, and then implementing, the worldview of pre-modern rural societies in a modern, possibly urban environment.
- There is no attempt to recreate a combined pan-European paganism.
- Researchers attempt to stay within research guidelines developed over the course of the past century for handling documentation generated in the time periods that they are studying.
- A multi-disciplinary approach is utilized capitalizing on results from various fields as historical literary research, anthropology, religious history, political history, archeology, forensic anthropology, historical sociology, etc. with an overt attempt to avoid pseudo-sciences.
- There are serious attempts to recreate culture, politics, science and art of the period in order to better understand the environment within which the religious beliefs were practiced
Asatru – Norse (Please keep in mind that some practices of Asatru differ between Scandinavia and America, partly since the custom never really left here butb stayed in traditions, folklore, placenames and so on. The actual FAITH is the same though).
Hellenismos – Greek
Religio Romana – Roman
Anglo – Saxon Heathenry – Anglo – Saxon
Celtic Revivalism – Celtic
Natib Qadish – Caanaanite
Romuva – Lithuanian
Finnish Paganism – Finland
Estonian Paganism – Estonia
Kemeticism – Egyptian
These are only a few (the biggest) reconstructive religions out there, and dont forget that using terms like “Germanic, Celtic” or “Slavic” are simplifications.
There whyere several tribes of each of these larger ethnic groups and time and geography would mean variations. Even within what is now Sweden there where differences in cult.
The biggest reconstructive polytheistic religion last i checked was Asatru.
There are about a 100 000 Hellenists in Greece, a country that only recently gained religious freedom (ie it was forbidden to be a Hellenist) and a whole lot in the US
The blót (Old Norse neuter) refers to Norse pagan sacrifice to the Norse gods and the spirits of the land. The sacrifice often took the form of a sacramental meal or feast. Related religious practices were performed by other Germanic peoples, such as the pagan Anglo-Saxons. The blót element of horse sacrifice is found throughout Indo-European traditions, including the Vedic Indian, Celtic, and Latin traditions.
The verb blóta meant “to worship with sacrifice”, or “to strengthen”. The sacrifice usually consisted of animals, in particular pigs and horses. The meat was boiled in large cooking pits with heated stones, either indoors or outdoors. The blood was considered to contain special powers and it was sprinkled on the statues of the gods, on the walls and on the participants themselves.
It was a sacred moment when the people gathered around the steaming cauldrons to have a meal together with the gods or the Elves. The drink that was passed around was blessed and sacred as well and it was passed from participant to participant. The drink was usually beer or mead but among the nobility it could be imported wine.
The old prayer was til árs ok friðar, “for a good year and frith (peace)” They asked for fertility, good health, a good life and peace and harmony between the people and the powers.
Modern adherents of the reconstructionist religions Theodism and Ásatrú continue to practice the ritual of blót, which is one of the most important ritual observances of their religion, in addition to symbel.