Folkmother Else Christensen 1913 - 2005
***This article was first published in “The Odinist” by Else over 40 years ago. Asatru has grown not only in numbers but in understanding of our ancestor’s practices since that time. It is important to know where we came from and to honor the pioneers of our faith, so we can continue to move forward in knowledge and strength.***
PAST AND PRESENT
Both the US and Canada as well as Europe and Australia and wherever else Nordic people gather, the "going back to the past God beliefs" is spreading rapidly. The fact that we only started this change about 50 years ago in America, and still growing, shows that the power of our ancient gods are returning after a relatively short interval during which we were sidetracked by Christian beliefs based on religious teachings which had no connection with our Past.
We have previously mentioned some of the ways in which our original religious beliefs were overrun by those of other peoples, and we shall continue to look for events that caused the power of the Papacy to overpower the ancient teachings our forefathers had taught us. Looking back in history all through the years we see how powerful "ideas" managed to impress our forefathers who were eager to learn new tricks which seemed to promise a sure existence both here and after death. Now we see clearly how our true gods were pushed out of the way, giving room for new teachings, both social and spiritual, which were forced upon our forefathers and these ancient beliefs were pushed out of the way and presented as silly or naive.
Such changes have been going on as far back as history goes; new ways of looking at things are interesting and in some cases the change has been positive. Unfortunately we lost our heritage and our contact with Nature when we adopted the Christian beliefs.
That is now history and we're now getting back on track and are again establishing a solid contact with Nature and our gods. Other groups among our Folk have also found that the Christian beliefs are not valid in the long run, or, possibly, that the Papal Powers have outlived themselves; however, the Christian Church still has a tremendous power and will still be around for another generation or so. In the meantime Odinism, or Asatru as it is also called, will gain strength and find more support based on history and new knowledge and understanding that the spiritual and social aspects are equally important.
Socialism as presented by Marx will never replace the spiritual aspects of life, but a combination similar to the way our forefathers of pre-Christian times combined the spiritual aspects of life with those of the social side of life are solidly included in Odinist beliefs. Odin is the basis of our spiritual beliefs but Thor, Frey and Baldur also have strong and much needed input - and let's not forget the goddesses.
All in all, the ancient beliefs of our forefathers of a thousand years ago are again becoming strong within our folk groups. It is up to coming generations to follow the ancient beliefs and teach them to their sons and daughters.
The power of the Vatican is still strong and other belief groups are presenting their views, but for us - living today - it is our job to make sure that the ancient beliefs of our Nordic forefathers, Wotanism, Odinism or Asatru as it is called, is the answer to both our spiritual and social needs as our gods have always dealt with all aspects of work and play.
(From Else Christensen's periodical "The Odinist" issue #159)