Germanic Neopaganism (also known as Heathenism or Heathenry, Ásatrú, Odinism, Forn Siðr, Vor Siðr, and Theodism) is the modern revival of historical Germanic paganism. Precursor movements appeared in the early 20th century in Germany and Austria. A second wave of revival began in the early 1970s.
Attitude and focus of adherents may vary considerably, from strictly historical polytheistic reconstructionism to syncretist (eclectic), pragmaticpsychologist, occult or mysticist approaches. Germanic Neopagan organizations cover a wide spectrum of belief and ideals.
Old Norse Forn Siðr, Anglo-Saxon Fyrnsidu, Old High German Firner situ and its modern Scandinavian (Forn Sed) and modern German (Firne Sitte) analogues, all meaning “old custom“, is used as a term for pre-Christian Germanic culture in general, and for Germanic Neopaganism in particular, mostly by groups in Scandinavia and Germany. Old Norse forn “old” is cognate to Sanskrit purana, English (be)fore and far. Old Norse siðr “custom”, Anglo-Saxon sidu, seodu “custom”, cognate to Greek ethos, in the sense of “traditional law, way of life, proper behaviour”. In meaning, the term corresponds closely to Sanskrit sanātana dharma, a term coined as a “native” equivalent of Hinduism in Hindu revivalism. In contradistinction toÁsatrú, inn forni siðr is actually attested in Old Norse, contrasting with inn nýi siðr “the new custom”, and similarly Heiðinn siðr, contrasting with Kristinn siðr, and í fornum sið “in old (heathen) times”.Forn Siðr is also the name of the largest Danish pagan society, which since 2003 is recognized as a religion by the Danish government, meaning they have the right to conduct weddings, etc.
In the Sagas, the terms heiðni and kristni (Heathenry and Christianity) are used as polar terms to describe the older and newer faiths. Historically, the term was influenced by the Gothicterm *haiþi, appearing as haiþno in Ulfilas‘ bible for translating gunē Hellēnis, “Greek (i.e. gentile) woman” of Mark 7:26, probably with an original meaning “dwelling on the heath“, but it was also suggested that it was chosen because of its similarity to Greek ethne “gentile” or even that it is not related to “heath” at all, but rather a loan from Armenianhethanos, itself loaned from Greek ethnos.
The Miercinga Rice Theod and several other groups, narrow the sense of the word to Germanic Neopaganism in particular, and prefer it over Neopagan as a self-designation.
Some proponents use Heathenry distinctively for strictly polytheistic reconstructionist approaches, as opposed to syncretic, occult or mysticist approaches.While some practitioners use the term Heathenry as an equivalent to Paganism, others use it much more specifically. It is used by those who are re-creating the old religion and world view from the literary and archaeological sources. They describe themselves as “Heathen” in part to distinguish themselves from other pagans whose rituals come from more modern sources.
The term Heathenry is promoted by UK groups such as Heathens For Progress.
Norse paganism is the religious traditions of the Germanic tribes living in Nordic countries before and during the Christianization of Northern Europe. Norse paganism is therefore a subset of Germanic paganism, which was practiced in the lands inhabited by the Germanic tribes across most of Northern and Central Europe in the Viking Age. Knowledge of Norse paganism is mostly drawn from the results of archaeological field work, etymology and early written materials.
Some scholars, such as Georges Dumézil, suggest that some structural and thematic elements within the attested Norse religious ideas place Norse paganism within the framework of the pan-Indo-European expression of spiritual ideas as a whole
Thor (from Old Norse Þórr) is a hammer-wielding god associated