Theodism, or Þéodisc Geléafa (Old English: “tribal belief”) is thought by some to be a variant or sister movement of US Ásatrú. Theodsmen themselves do not consider Theodism as a variant of Asatru and contend that the two religions are very different. The term Theodism encompasses Norman, Angle, Continental Saxon, Frisian, Jutish, Gothic, Alemannic,Swedish, Danish and other tribal variants. Þéodisc is the adjective of þéod ”people, tribe”, cognate to Dutch/deutsch.
While having some commonalities with the Ásatrú movement following McNallen, Theodism primarily derived its origins as a reaction to Wicca. In 1971, Garman Lord and other practitioners of Gardnerian Wicca founded the The Coven Witan of Anglo-Saxon Wicca. Theodism is focused on the lore, beliefs and social structure – particularly the concept of thew(Old English þeaw) or “customary law” – of various specific Germanic tribes. The main distinction between Theodism and other modern manifestations of Germanic Neopaganism along with pre-Christian religions, the Theodish are also attempting to reconstruct aspects of pre-Christian Germanic social order (including sacral kingship).
In general, Théodish religious festivities are referred to as ‘fainings’ (meaning ‘celebration’). As a rule, there are two sorts of rituals; blót and symbel. Húsel is technically part of blót. Symbel is normally held after the feast, inasmuch as it is custom not to have food present.
Garman Lord formed the Witan Theod in Watertown, New York, in 1976. A few years later, the Moody Hill Theod emerged as an offshoot of the Witan Theod. In 1988 the Winland Rice was formed as an umbrella organization of Theodish groups. Gert McQueen, Elder and Redesman of the Ring of Troth, was successful in lobbying the U.S. Army Chaplain’s Corps to adopt guidelines for recognizing heathen religions and Theodish belief in particular.
The Winland Rice dissolved in 2002. In 2004, Garman Lord stated that the religion of Theodism does not work in practice, dissolving Gering Theod and declaring Theodism as defunct. Several groups that have continued to call themselves Theodish. Axenthof Thiad originated in the early 1990s as the Fresena Thiad and part of the Winland Rice. In 2005, Gerd Forsta Axenthoves changed the name to Axenthof Thiad. Eric Wodening founded Englatheod in July 2007, while Sweartfenn Theod was founded, by Jeffrey Runokivi, in December 2007. Both groups practice Anglo-Saxon Theodism, and have members that have belonged to both the Winland Rice and the Ealdriht. In New York, the New Normannii Reik of Theodish Belief was founded in 1997 and is led by Dan Halloran but in 2009 many members split off and formed the Arfstoll Church of Theodish Belief, White Marsh Theod, and Álfröðull þjóð.
One famous follower of Theodism is New York City Councilman Daniel J. Halloran.