Thursday, June 28, 2007

Denmark To Accept Norse God Marriages

Denmark To Accept Norse God Marriages Cover Home to the Vikings of yore, Denmark said Wednesday it will let a group that worships Thor, Odin and other Norse gods conduct legally-recognized marriages.

"To me, it would be wrong if the indigenous religion of this country wasn't recognized,'' Tove Fergo, the minister for Ecclesiastic Affairs and a Lutheran priest, told The Associated Press. Under Danish law, the state Evangelical Lutheran Church has sole authority to recognize other religious communities. The 240-member Forn Sidr, which worships Odin, Thor, Freya, and the other members of the Norse pantheon, sought recognition in 1999, said Tissel Jacobsen, the group's president. Last year, an Ecclesiastic Affairs panel of scholars recommended that Forn Sidr, whose name mean "Old Custom'' in old Norse, be approved, but only if their rituals were clearly detailed in its bylaws.

"At a general assembly, we added and described our four annual heathen rituals - spring and fall equinoxes, and the summer and winter solstices, and our marriage ceremony,'' Jacobsen told the AP. "We then returned our application and the panel approved it.''

Fergo said she would give her final approval "in a few days.''

About 1,000 people worship the ancient gods in Denmark, Jacobsen said. Since 1998, the panel of theology, law and history scholars have advised the government on which groups seeking to become religious communities, should be recognized.

"It was not up to me to evaluate whether they are telling the truth or the quality of their religion,'' Fergo said. "Based on the commission's evaluation and what I have read, I consider it a good religion.''

Officially recognized religious communities can marry people and exempt their members from the 1 percent income tax that is imposed on members of the state church. People born in Denmark are automatically made members of the state church, but can choose to leave it if they want. Members of other recognized religious communities, such Catholics, Muslims and Jews, are also exempt from the tax.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Asatru Holidays May Merrymoon

Asatru Holidays May Merrymoon Cover Merrymoon 1,
May Day: The first of May is a time of great celebration all across Europe, as the fields get greener and the flowers decorate the landscape with colorful confusion. Freya turns her kindly face to us after the night of Walburg. Celebrate the birth of Spring and the gifts of Freya on this day.

Merrymoon 9,
Day of Remembrance for Guthroth: One of the upland minor kings. Guthroth had to the audacity to make a speech opposing the policies of Olaf Tryggvason, who at the time was busy killing people who did not want to become kristjans. For exercising his Gods given rights to Worship his tribal Gods, Guthroth was captured and his tongue was cut out. Use your tongue for the Gods today! Sing their praises and recite some heroic poetry, tell someone of the Gods glory, and call a kinsman to keep in touch.

Merrymoon 20,
Frigga Blot: Today we rejoice in the warmth and splendor of Spring. A traditional time for a kindred campout, Perform blot to honor the AllMother and thank Her for the health and vitality of the Family, Kindred and Tribe.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Asatru As A Modern Religion

Asatru As A Modern Religion Cover Despite its historical origins, Asatru is a modern religion. Its modern practice is a product of resurgence through the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. As a modern religion, it seeks to inform and guide us in our modern, daily lives. It provides a vision of spirituality, community and identity that is relevant to today. It seeks connection to our ancestors, gods and goddesses. It embraces the concept of culture as people embodied wisdom and seeks to improve our lives today by giving us ideals to strive for. Whether it is described as a reconstruction or a reinvention or a rediscovery of our ancestors’ religious and folk views, it is modern and adapted to the world today. Its ethics provides lessons that a just as relevant today and tomorrow as they were through the millennia. It is embodied in a rapidly growing community wherever Northern Europeans are found.

As a modern religion we are adapting our practices to face the realities of life in a more crowded world. If Asatru is said to have a mission in Midgard, it is to help the Folk live in peace with the Holy Spirits, and to help us thrive and grow, to have the greatest degree of self-identity, self-respect, strength and self-determination in the world today. Its mission is to keep alive the beliefs and ideals which have kept our Folk alive through the ages. Asatru, as a modern religion, is about life.

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