Reconstruction or Revival?
Many organizations and individuals who practice Asatru often fall into the trap of trying to do things “by the book”- by this, I mean they want to do things in the exact same way that our ancestors supposedly did. They want to read or recite their invocations from a script during Blöt, they want to wear tunics during ceremonies, they only ever spell names and locations in perfect Old Norse, and they only focus on Viking Age Scandinavia or Iceland. These folks call themselves “reconstructionists”.
Reconstructing Asatru to make it historically accurate in regard to how the Vikings practiced it sounds great, but as modern Aryans living in the 21st century, would we be properly worshiping our Gods by pretending to be Icelandic? Well, maybe Witan Svan would be, but my ancestors, for example, were Saxons and likely worshiped our Gods differently from the Icelandic Folk. Our people come from all over Europe, from Ireland to Russia, from Finland to Greece, and each of these regions connected with the Divine in similar ways, but different enough that “reconstructionists” will split hairs and call things “inauthentic” … All while not properly connecting with the Gods in the process. Rituals and invocations and prayers are about speaking from the heart and continuing the gifting cycle in a meaningful way. I don’t know about you, but when I speak from the heart, it is never in Old Norse.
One of the big things that set the AFA apart from and above the others, is that we are REVIVING Asatru rather than reconstructing Asatru. Our faith is alive, and the Gods should be worshipped in the modern world just as fiercely as they were in ninth-century Iceland! We speak English (or another modern language) when we invoke Thor for strength, not Old Norse. We wear suits and dresses when we hail our ancestors, not tunics from Amazon. Our Gods must appreciate these things, as they have been blessing us abundantly for the last 27 years!
Asatru is alive, and it is the AFA who makes it so!
Gothi Trent East