30 December 2011

Moratorium on Zeitgeist Subscriptions

Due to some difficulties we have been experiencing here at Irminen-Gesellschaft headquarters getting cheques deposited we will not be accepting new subscriptions to Zeitgeist at this time. When out banking difficulties get squared away we will announce that we are accepting new subscriptions again both in this blog and in Zeitgeist magazine. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Of course, existing subscriptions will still be honoured; so those that are already subscribing will see no interruptions in service.

29 December 2011

ZEITGEIST #18 is in the mail!

In this issue: Adventures in Old High German by Karen Carlson; Valhalla Bound by Samuel Everhart;
Rites of the Sippâ by Steve Anthonijsz plus a review of Richard Rudgley's book Pagan Resurrection

30 November 2011

USA Lifts Ban on Horse Meat Sales


It is well known that the sacrifice of horses to Wodan was performed in ancient times, and that the meat was eaten in the feasts following a bluostar. The eating of horse meat was banned in Europe after the coming of christianism specifically because of its association with Wodan's worship. Modern American Heathens will now be able to resume this holy tradition of our ancestors!

To be sure some controvercy will ensue. In the United States horses are generally thought of as pets, icons, or are associated with racing but not with food. These notions will certainly raise the ire of people who hold romantic notions for horses that they lack for pigs, cattle, sheep, rabbits, and other livestock animals. Because of these complaints and because the number of slaughterhouses will be small, one can expect the meat to be expensive. But many predict that horse meat will soon appear on the shelves of grocery stores across the country, possibly taking up a small section like bison, goose and other less popular meat choices.

22 November 2011

AUTHENTIC German Martial Arts

Döbringer's Fechtbuch (MHG “fight book”) written in 1389 describing German martial arts as taught by Johannus Liechtenauer. Note that Döbringer states that the art was already hundreds of years old when he wrote his treatise, indicating that the art came from arch-heathen times. Includes facing page New English/Middle High German translation. http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/Dobringer_A5_sidebyside.pdf

20 November 2011

The Vinland Map: Priceless History or Forgery?

New evidence has re-opened the question of the Vinland Map's authenticity. See full story at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/vinland-map.html

~~Steve Anthonijsz

26 October 2011

Presidential Hopeful Gary Johnson Speaks with Minority Religions

We haven't seen this much buzz about politicians and minority religions since Heathen Dan Halloran(R) was elected to the New York City Council. While the chances of Johnson getting elected are almost nonexistent this does show a certain trend of enlightenment among politicians regarding Heathens and pagans. See full story at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/post/gary-johnson-embraces-pagan-community/2011/10/20/gIQAu5Dr0L_blog.html

18 September 2011

06 August 2011

HRED's Road to Hel Availble Online

Arguably one of Davidson's best works! http://www.runewebvitki.com/Road_To_Hel.pdf

~~Steve Anthonijsz

24 July 2011

Irminenschaft Not Related to Wotanism

Here at the Irminen-Gesellschaft we have recently seen a small number of communications suggesting one sort of comparison or another to the Wotansvolk movement. While the differences between Irminenschaft and Wotanism seem obvious to us, apparently these differences are not as obvious to certain parties. So let's consider some of the major ways the two traditions differ...

  • Irminen use the name “Wodan” because it is an attested OHG name and for no other reason. Wotanism was originally seen as a strain within Odinism but coined the new name to differentiate itself from Odinists that lack Wotanism's racialist bent. Wotanism uses the MHG form of “Wotan” as a modern English amalgam meaning “Will Of The Aryan Nation”.
  • Wotanism espouses a viking-inspired warrior creed (the “creed of iron”); Irminenschaft lacks any sort of warrior aspect.
  • Wotanists believe that in the afterlife a Heathen chooses to either (A) go to Asgard to be merged with the “cosmic mind” or (B) go to Valhalla to later be reincarnated to struggle in the world of men. Non-Heathens are believed to go the Hel where their souls “dissolve into an energy chaos without form or thought”. Irminen believe that after death our soul-parts are separated so that parts of us may be reincarnated within the family line while others attend one of the godly abodes (to be determined at the divine thingstead).
  • The slogan of Wotansvolk, known as the “14 Words” is We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children - a highly charged political battle cry. The slogan of the Irminen-Gesellschaft is triuwa enti êra (OHG “fidelity and honour”) representing more a code of conduct. While the IG encourages our membership to be politically active the organization takes no particular stances regarding any specific issues or candidates.
  • Wotanism perceives itself as a religion for white people. Irminenschaft perceives itself as a religion for German-descended people.
  • Wotanists do not see themselves as being patriotic because of their belief in various conspiracy theories as regards the governments of nations. Irminen see ourselves as being extremely patriotic, thanking our ancestors for spreading our families to the lands in which we now reside.
  • The rites of Wotansim are based on Icelandic sources; the rites of Irminenschaft are based on German sources.
  • Wotanists see the gods as archetypes. Irminen see the gods as living divinities.

~~Steve Anthonijsz

    18 July 2011

    Secrets of the Runes

    Guido von List's Secrets of the Runes is available in English translation online at http://www.scribd.com/doc/17602889/Secret-of-the-Runes

    13 July 2011

    Zeitgeist #17 is in the mail!

    In this issue: New English Prose Translation of the Nibelungenlied by Karen Carlson; Why are Weekdays Named After Heathen Gods? By Radböd Artisson; plus Martial Arts and Combat Sports and The Earth Mother by yours truly!

    ~~Steve Anthonijsz IG

    11 July 2011

    Blood quantum influences Native American identity

    While this is not a specifically Irminic entry I thought the topic might prove of interest to our own Volk. Amerindians are now looking at ways to redefine who they include in their own Volk which is very reminiscent of what Germanen were doing in the early 1900s through the völkisch and pan-German movements. Since it is sometimes enlightening to view how other peoples cope with their issues...

    ~~Steve Anthonijsz IG

    10 July 2011

    Théodsmen & Ásatrúar Distinctly Recognized by NE Penitentiary

    See full article, Prison Inmates Settle with State Over Religion at State Pen, in the JournalStar (online edition) at: 


    04 July 2011

    Independence Day

    As German-Americans, we Irminen tend to talk a lot about our German-ness. That “thing” that we have inherited through our bloodlines and our family traditions means something to us although it cannot be described in mere words. This is made even more special by finding others through the Irminen-Gesellschaft who share similar thoughts and feelings, who have come to know similar traditions, and who see the world much as we do.
    What we can often overlook in this, though, is that we are Americans as well; and that our American-ness is just as important to us. Perhaps this can be more easily overlooked because we tend to take the American side of our lives for granted. Today, though, is independence Day, arguably the most significant day of remembrance in American culture. On days like this we cannot forget the American side of our cultural heritage.

    Of course we all know what is being celebrated on Independence Day. 4 July 1776 was the day that the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted by the Continental Congress which not only stated in no uncertain terms that the colonies intended to secede from England; but also described the rational behind our American conception of liberty. But it might also be healthy to consider some of the elements of American Independence Day from an Irminic perspective.

    The American conception of inalienable rights (first described as the freedom to pursue life, liberty and property, these rights were later broken down and enumerated in the Constitution) was and still is unique in the world. These concepts are so deeply embedded in the American psyche that it would not be amiss to describe these values are “religious principles”. Having added these principles to our triuwa, Irminen may very well approach our Heathenry different from those in other countries-- including those in the Fatherland. The nation-state of Germany (formerly the loose confederation of Germania), despite its various political changes over the centuries, never experienced anything like the liberty movements that have always existed as a matter-of-course in America. Thus, these notions are simply not part of the native German Weltanschauung like they are here.

    Similarly Americans have come to embrace the doctrine that “all men are created equal”. Every Heathen knows that not all men are equal. Some have more werd than others. The founding fathers of our country understood this as well. “All men are created equal” did not deny the fact that there are 25% men, 78% men, and maybe even a few heroes. What it did deny was the idea any legitimate form of government could be based on an individual's birthright. This is fully explained in pamphlets such as Common Sense by Thomas Paine. Few modern Heathens would disagree.

    Just as Germans in different regions may know different customs, so the thau of German-American Heathens is unique to us. A federal holiday such as Independence Day includes its own customs such as family/community barbecues, flag-waving, drinking and fireworks, that know no parallel in other parts of worldwide Heathendom. This does not, however, mean that it is distinct from our Heathenry, as every aspect of our lives is (or ought to be) perceived through a Heathen lens. The origins of these traditions is generally well known, and a quick internet search will inform people who have forgotten the lessons of history class, so none of that will be repeated here. The significant thing to understand is that the fireworks and all the rest are part of our thau-- that is, it is our “custom” and, as such, is “right action”.

    It is significant to note at this juncture, that before the coming of universalist, soteriological cults, that one's triuwa and one's nationality were one in the same. If someone were to ask an ancient Heathen what his religion was he would likely look confused and say something like, “I am a Burgundian” or “I am Saxon”. This, of course, was not unique to the Germans, but is echoed across all the Aryan cultures. A Roman citizen would see no difference between the words “pious” and “patriotic”.
    Only the divisive nature of universalist cults caused notions such as 'freedom of religion' and 'the separation of Church and State' to bear the significance that they have in America. These assumptions are foreign to Heathenry. Yet we live in a culture that is predominantly christian--so how do we reconcile this? When we recognize that in our feast days, our ethics, and many of our traditions that Heathenry and christianism really are not all that different as they have come down to us (despite some dramatic differences in symbolism and theology) it does not take much to realize that we Irminen ought to be approaching our civic life exactly the same way as our christian neighbours. Perhaps we might be a little more zealous than they are, though, because we know that the world we make today will be the world we are born into tomorrow whereas they wait for a pie-in-the-sky afterlife. While the Irminen-Gesellschaft does not take any official stances on political issues or endorse any political candidates we do encourage our members to be politically active. Our civic duties go beyond politics, though. Activity in the PTA and other such organizations can prove to be just as significant.
    When Hurricane Katrina ravaged much of the South the Irminen-Gesellschaft was there distributing bottled water to emergency workers. This was not in the least bit a political activity; it represented the civic-mindedness of Irminen who would take the time to help our fellow Americans when it could be done.

    Getting back to our topic, we would encourage all our members and friends to embrace and celebrate the American part of our cultural heritage. Despite all the problems that we bicker about in this country we have much to be grateful for and much to be proud of. So tonight have a few drinks and shoot off some fireworks (being safe in both) and as the fireworks reach a crescendo raise a toast to the altmâgâ who brought the family line to this, our home.

    15 June 2011

    Observers viewing lunar eclipse

    See full story at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13779506

    12 June 2011

    Why I Am Not a (Neo-)Pagan

    After posting about the McCollum case we have recieved a number of emails asking about the differences between Heathenry and neo-paganism. The following is offered as a response to these queries.

    Modern Heathendom and neo-paganism have borne a rather strange and strained relationship since the mid-1970s. Some on both sides see neo-paganism as a broad phenomenon and include Heathendom as one branch of the pagan family tree. Others see Heathenry as a distinct movement with our own history, values and traditions that are not related to neo-paganism or any other socio-spiritual movement. The question of which attitude is more correct is an interesting, if not complicated one.

    The term in question comes from the Second World War. The Nazis coined the term Neu-Heiden1 as a derogatory term to describe the various non-christian and anti-christian religious/philisophical movements that had been cropping up in Germany beginning in the late 1800s and through the war era. These movements varied greatly: from spiritualism to Armanenschaft, from Anthroposophy to Gotteserkenntnis, and from theosophy to Ariosophy. That is, there was no one school of thought that united these movements except for the fact that neither the Church nor the Nazi Party approved of them.
    It is from the German Neu-Heiden that we derive our anglicized “neo-pagan”2. Neo-Pagan was popularized in the 1970s when a number of fringe religious movements came to identify themselves under one umbrella term. While Wicca3 came to be the most widely recognized of these, the neo-pagan movement embraced a wide variety of movements ranging from neo-druidry4 to Feraferia5 and from Church of the Eternal Source6 to Discordianism7. Some have even produced rather whitewashed forms of tribal and semi-tribal traditions such as Amerindian shamanism and Cuban Santería. Like their German forebears, neo-pagan groups share little in common except for their rejection of organized religion and certain social norms.

    Two religious traditions have long vexed the neo-pagan movement, however: Heathenry and Setianism8. As it is not my place to speak on Setianism, however, we will only consider Heathenry here.

    Heathenry, unlike neo-paganism, bears a continuous--if fragmented--lineage that spans back to ancient times. In Western society we still see vestiges of our ancestral triuwa in our legal conventions, in public symbolism (such as at courthouses and librarys), in our bank holidays and even the names we use to identify the days of the week. Many of the traditions we now see in institutions such as the christian church and in organized sports find their origins in ancient Heathendom.

    History has shown us two significant events—the First and Second Reawakenings—that demonstrate the fact that the Götter have remembered us and that we, in turn, ought to remember them. When one considers the likelihood of either Reawakening occurring without divine intervention the statistics offer an incredible wake-up call! Neo-paganism, on the other hand, has never experienced anything like this.

    Aside from history, though, there are two major reasons that I do not identify my Heathenry as having anything to do with the neo-pagan movement: [1] the comparative definitions of the terms pagan and Heathen (both ancient and modern); and [2] the socio-spiritual implications of the same two terms.

    "Pagan" is derived from the Latin paganus meaning something like “country dweller” but with a very negative connotation – much like our modern English word “hick”. The implication made by early christians was that the “hicks” we too backward to understand their new belief system and would, as a result, remain in a “savage” state.

    "Heathen" comes down to us from OE hæðen, which in turn was derived from Goth haiþno meaning something like “gentle country person”. It bore no negative connotations until the Church began to use the terms “heathen” and “pagan” interchangeably.

    The historical difference is that “pagan” was a foreign term of derision, whilst “heathen” was an indigenous descriptive. The former was a general term to describe all the “savages” and “barbarians”, whilst the latter was a specific term simply identifying a certain breed of people within the existing culture.

    Bringing this to modern times “pagan” has come down to us to mean any religious belief that is not part of the Abrahamic tradition9. That is, any tradition from Buddhism to Voudon might be described as “pagan” (although most people of the various world traditions would be loath to use the term). It does not describe what one believes or practices, but only describes what one is not. “Heathen”, on the other hand, describes a very specific body of beliefs and practices. While there may be a number of variances between the orthopraxy and orthodoxy of assorted Heathenrys, one must believe and practice some certain basic things to be included under this moniker.

    As for the socio-spiritual implications, when one thinks of neo-paganism one tends to think of naked dances around a bonfire, of all but non-existent ethical guides, of casting spells, and all sorts of other things that have little or nothing to do with Heathenry. Why would I want to lump myself together with folks who do not share my beliefs, my morals, or my traditions? Let alone the baggage! Many outsiders believe (although inaccurately) that neo-pagans are devil worshippers, perverts, and other wretched things. If I allow myself to be associated with them the assumption is that I too worship devils, am a sexual deviant, or what have you. Heathenry's public image is difficult enough to manage without adding the baggage of neo-paganism to our own!

    I am not a neo-pagan, borrowing ideas and notions from all over the world and delving into whatever strikes my fancy. I stand true to the gods of my ancestors! I am a Heathen. It may not mean much to the outside world, but it is something of which I am proud!

    1The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity 1919-1945 by Richard Steigmann-Gall; 2003 Cambridge University Press

    2Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today by Margot Adler; 1986 Penguin Books

    3A would-be revival of witchcraft as a religion

    4While these groups claim to practice a revived Celtic tradition the majority practice something much more akin to Wicca than to anything historically accurate. This should come as no surprise considering how little has survived regarding historical Celtic religion.

    5A pantheistic approach to nature-worship

    6A revival of ancient Egyptian religion – very historically accurate

    7A parody of organized religion and, on occasion, going so far as to parody neo-paganism itself

    8The Temple of Set began as a break-off from Anton LeVey's Church of Satan alleging that LeVey's version of Satanism was not serious enough. Its teachings have since evolved into something of a “dark side” retelling of world pagan notions.

    9Judaism, christianism, mohammedanism and bahái

    ~~Steve Anthonijsz

    05 June 2011

    Personnel Changes

    We are very happy to announce that the Irminen-Gesellschaft has a new board of directors! Cal Reimer has agreed to take on the position of secretary and Lonnie Collins is returning as vice-president. The dedication of both these gentlemen will prove to be a great asset to the IG, and their agreeing to work in this capacity is greatly appreciated. I will remain in the president's seat.
    ...And more news! While Zeitgeist #17 is already in production, after this issue we will see the return of Hjuka Coulter as the editor! We have all missed Hjuka's efforts in this organization and I'm sure that his return will be more than welcomed. Besides, he's much better at proofreading and layouts than I will ever be which will mean Zeitgeist will have a more “professional” look again.

    The past year or two have been very trying for this organization. But it is my belief that these individuals taking these offices will prove to be a dramatic boon for us and, by extension, the Irminic movement as a whole.

    Triuwa enti êra!

    McCollum; et al., v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; et al.

    On 1 June 2011 California's Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals published its decision to uphold the lower court's ruling to deny Patrick McCollum and his fellow plaintiffs standing. The case, Patrick M. McCollum; et al., v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; et al. Was brought to the courts by a neo-pagan chaplain (McCollum) challenging the state's “Five Faiths” policy. This policy limits the hiring of paid chaplains to protestant christian, catholic christian, Jewish, mohammedan, and “Native American” (as if this moniker isn't sufficiently vague!) adherents. The ruling is being challenged by a number of neo-pagan groups, predominantly by wiccans and neo-druids.
    But what does all this mean to Irminen and other Heathens? To understand this, first we must consider the role of a prison chaplain. Chaplains, supported by the courts uphold prisoners' right to practice their religions in reasonable ways that do not endanger the safety or function of the prison. This right has been supported by the courts because it is proven that when a criminal meditates on their crimes tend  to become truly repentant and as a result, are more likely to be productive, law-abiding citizens in the future –- d.h., recidivism is dramatically reduced. Chaplains can organize regularly scheduled religious services as well as provide spiritual counselling and comfort to the inmates. These services can be secular or non-denominational as well as being religon-specific and are aimed at improving both the welfare and attitudes of the inmates.
    This, of course, sounds very much desirable. But how does a chaplain accomplish these goals?
    A chaplain is given quite a bit of leeway, but we must also keep in mind that (1) the chaplain is an employee of the institution which may be government-run or privately-run, and (2) the office of the chaplaincy is based on a christian model regardless of the triuwa being represented. A prison chaplain is not a harugari* stationed behind the wall and does not pretend to be. Typical “vital areas” covered by a prison chaplain include:
      • God, Supreme Being &/or Spirit
      • Existence: Being/Non-Being
      • Life Crises & Goals
      • Identity & Sexuality
      • Eternity & Annihilation
      •  Nature of Growth & Death
      • Universal Forces
      Origin: Beginning/Ending
      • Purpose of Pain & Pleasure
      • Purpose of God & Humankind
      • Derivation & Purpose of Law
      • Sources of Religous Authority
      • Destiny of Humankind
      • Coping with Life & Prison
      • Scripture Interpretation
      • Transcendence
      • Truth; Dignity; Honour; Love
      • Cycles & Stages of Life
      • Moral & Social Accountability
      • Family; Marriage; Separation
      • Wisdom & Life Skills
      • Essence of Good & Evil
      • Essence of Humankind & Principles
      • Purpose/Meaning in life
    While a number of these areas could be positively addressed by a chaplain regarless of his triuwa, it does not require much to realize that a chaplain representing one of the “Five Faiths” is not going to be able to address Irminic spiritual needs in many if not most of these areas. Even if the McCollum case were won all this would offer is a couple of neo-pagan chaplains to add to the mix who will be similarly unqualified in fulfilling the needs of Heathen or would-be Heathen inmates.
    Something often overlooked in discussions about matters such as these is the nature of Heathendom itself. As an  Ásatrú friend of mine has often pointed out: Heathenry is a religion of the hearth, not the church. As far as the needs of a given individual goes one can build one's own werd** and one's relationship with the gods with little or no help from a chaplain. Negotiating with the wihtir*** may prove very difficult when confined within an institution, but a chaplain cannot help much in this area anyway.
    However a prison chaplain can prove useful to a Heathen inmate or to one investigating Heathenry. Again it is the chaplain who has the power to schedule (or deny) “religious services” (fagende). He may also permit and even request books and other materials for the prison library, offer counselling services, usw.
    We do not necessarily need Heathen chaplains in the prisons. But we do need Heathen-friendly ones. No amount of litigation or legislation will create Heathen-friendly chaplains. But educating the wider public about what Heathenry is—and is not—may well funnel some positive thoughts about us into the institutions. Again, chaplains are generally given a lot more leeway than other prison employees to interpret policy as they see fit.
    How do we educate people? Of course, lots of methods exist. But the more important is simply to present ourselves to the world in a positive fashion. Be a supportive family member, a good citizen, and a good employee or boss. Be open about your Heathenry but don't shove it in people's faces either. Let people get to know you as a quality person first and let them find out about your triuwa after that positive impression has been made. Maybe after knowing you for 3 or 5 years someone asks, “What is that symbol you always were around your neck?” or “Why do you have religious celebrations at all these odd times?” Now you have the opportunity to give an honest, reasonable answer with your reputation already established so that the questioner respects you before the answer is even given—without any feelings of prejudice or of being threatened. It's a slow way, but an effective one.

    ~~Steve Anthonijsz

    *Irminic priest. f. Harugarin
    ** OHG: "worth" related to âr ("honour")
    ***OHG: "spirits"; "local deities". Various types of wiht are associated with home, property and nature

    30 May 2011

    The Meaning of "Irminenschaft"

    We have heard a few astute readers ask what the term “Irminenschaft” means translated into English. This term is not as simple to translate as one might expect.

    The tradition of Irminenschaft grew out of Armanenschaft. Those familiar with the works of the early Armanen masters know that it is very common for Armanic terms to be based on certain German word-plays allowing multiple-–although not exclusive-–meanings for a word or phrase, often based on the rules of Kala. The term “Irminenschaft” was coined based on a similar word-play.

    Looking back to the writings of Guido von List, the man who first exposed the Armanen tradition to the world, we see that he actually used two different terms in relation to his teachings. The first was Wuotanismus (“Odinism” -- not related to the movement inspired by A. R. Mills) which spoke specifically of the exoteric German religion. The second term was Armanenschaft specifically addressing the esoteric side of Wuotanismus. Here it should be mentioned that all religions bear exoteric and esoteric sides – some having a specific term to describe it and some not.

    List had reconstructed the German Armanen based on Tacitus' Irminones, Herminones, Hermiones. The suffix -schaft refers to a state of being as in Freundschaft (“friendship”) and Bruderschaft (“brotherhood”).

    Jumping ahead in time to the coining of the term Irminenschaft, of course, we have to ask about the term “Irminin” (or to use English plurals, “Irminists”). Irmin is a byname of Wodan. Cognates have been preserved in nations surrounding the Germanys including MLG Ermen, OE Eormen, and ON JormunR which all are known bynames of Wodan.

    Thus, “Irminenschaft” is a play on words that connotes both “Odinism” and “Armanenschaft”.

    Die Armanenschaft der Ario-Germanen now Online

    See it at http://www.archive.org/details/List-Guido-von-Die-Armanenschaft-der-Ario-Germanen

    20 May 2011

    Thoughts on the THOR at the Cinema

    A number of Heathen blogs have been commenting on Marvel Studios' new THOR film. Some have complained that the script is inconsistent with ancient lore; while others complain about the casting of a black actor (Idris Elba) playing the character of Heimdall.
    What do we have to say about all this? We say, “Get over it”!

    First of all, if you are watching a picture film made by Marvel Studios or someone in Hollywood for spiritual edification, religious education, or in hope of making converts you are wrong. Movies are generally not a good source of information. Enough said about that.

    Second of all, this picture is not about the Old Norse ÞórR or any other Heathen god (including our own Donar), but about the character that has appeared in Marvel Comics since 1962. Personally, I love motion pictures based on the comics I read as a child. But I do not confuse my childhood phantasy stories with anything in real life - including my Heathen triuwa.

    As for casting a black actor to play a Scandinavian deity, well, Marvel Studios will have to explain their rationale behind this. While it doesn't make much sense to me – any more than having a white actor play a ninja – I don't find it offensive in any way either. Anyone can play a comic book character as long as the storyline explains why the character does not look as expected.

    If one wants to enjoy an hour and a half of fun and escapism go enjoy the THOR movie! But don't confuse it with your triuwa just because this superhero has the same name as a real god.

    ~~Steve Anthonijsz IG

    02 May 2011

    10 Differences & 5 Similarities Between Irminenschaft and Ásatrú

    Ásatrú is a bit more difficult to discuss when compared to the other Heathenrys we’ve considered in this series because it is not only the most populous of modern Heathenrys, but it is also the most varied and inclusive. Because of the anti-dogmatic and fiercely individualist  stance of most Ásatrúar even the very term Ásatrú has come to mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Therefore we are forced here to speak in even broader terms than in our comparisons to Odinism and Théodish Belief.

    That being said, here are 10 differences between Irminenschaft and Ásatrú:

    1.      Modernism vs. reconstructionism: Ásatrúar attempt to reconstruct rituals and other aspects of ancient tradition in an attempt to rebuild a long dead religion leading to a resistance toward changes in belief and practice. Irminen practice a living tradition and honour living gods and do not find a need to reconstruct the ancient past.
    2.      Irminen rely on an authentic Heathen calendar. Ásatrúar rely on a reconstructed calendar.
    3.      Many Ásatrú circles are comfortable with “fringe” practices such as the worship of Locho (ON Loki) and soul-cunning (ON seiðR). Irminen find these practices reprehensible.
    4.      Irminenshaft is composed of German-descended people practicing a German expression of Heathenry. Ásatrú is composed of “Northern Europeans” practicing an Icelandic expression of Heathenry.
    5.      Irminic esoterica is based on Armanenschaft. Ásatrú esoterica is based on Odianism.
    6.      Irminenschaft, while encouraging civic action, does not lend itself directly to political involvement. Ásatrú has been consistently divided by various political agendas.
    7.      Regarding lore, Irminenschaft recognizes a broad canon with the understanding that many sources may be useful, but that the various sources must all be understood within appropriate contexts. Ásatrú recognizes a much narrower canon, reading anything written after the Thirteenth Century with suspicion.
    8.      Ásatrú bears an underlying connection to Viking romance. Irminenschaft lacks a connection to Vikings or anything similar.
    9.      Irminenschaft holds tightly to its orthopraxy and orthodoxy. Ásatrú is militantly anti-dogmatic.
    10.   Irminenschaft places its emphasis on the ancestors and wihtir. Ásatrú places its emphasis on the gods.

    And now for some similarities:

    1.      Irminenschaft and Ásatrú share a laissez-faire social structure.
    2.       Both Irminen and Ásatrúar believe that an individual can foster an intimate relationship with a deity.
    3.      Neither Irminenschaft nor Ásatrú accept the notion of a sacral leader.
    4.      Both Irminenschaft and Ásatrú reject the notion that Heathendom is associated with neo-paganism or any other religious movement.
    5.      Irminen use a combination of Old High German and Armanic terminology as a liturgical language. Similarly, Ásatrúar use Old Norse and Modern Icelandic as a liturgical language.

    28 April 2011

    10 Differences & 5 Similarities Between Irminenschaft and Théodish Belief

    Much in Irminenschaft is similar to other forms of Heathenry. We certainly have more in common that we do differences! But many people have asked how we differ, so here some thoughts on the matter. This list is certainly not intended to be complete, but is intended as something of a generalized notion.

    It should be stated that not all Théodsmen or Théodish tribes believe/practice the same way, so anything described herein is done only to be taken in very general terms.

    1.      Irminen see one another as more-or-less equal (although respect is given toward certain offices). Théodish Belief bears a strong, defined social structure similar to the ranks found in a military or police unit.
    2.      Irminen work to build personal, individual relationships with our gods. Théodsmen see this as near-impossible unless the individual in question is exceptional. The relationship between the divine and mankind in the Théodish mind is established through the community.
    3.      Irminen perceive ourselves as practicing a living, evolving tradition. Théodsmen perceive themselves as reconstructing a long dead religion/culture.
    4.      Irminen share immaterial bonds with one another based on common ancestry. Théodsmen share immaterial bonds with one another through tribal unions and hold oaths.
    5.      Irminenschaft does not recognize any sacral leader. Théodish Belief bases much of its thought on the assumption that the luck of the gods is transferred to the people through a sacral king.
    6.      Irminen see Heathendom as distinct from the neo-pagan movement. Théodsmen consider Heathendom to be only one facet of neo-paganism.
    7.      Regarding lore, Irminenschaft recognizes a broad canon with the understanding that many sources may be useful, but that the various sources must all be understood within appropriate contexts. Théodish Belief recognizes a much narrower canon, reading anything written after the Thirteenth Century with suspicion.
    8.      Irminen base our overall direction and goals on the assumption that we are conforming to cosmic law (Arm: Rita), that is, fulfilling our individual and group destinies. Théodsmen base their overall direction and goals on efforts to overcome an individual’s destiny (OE: dóm) while family/community is maintained through the concept of “right good will”.
    9.      Irminenschaft understands that our culture has evolved over the centuries with the importation of various religious, magical, and political ideologies that have made their stamp on our native Heathenry. Théodish Belief attempts to reconstruct ancient traditions as if the course of history did not have any effects on the Volk.
    10.   Irminen bear an attitude of “come to us if you are interested”. Théodsmen actively attend pan-Heathen and pan-pagan events seeking converts.

    And now for some similarities:

    1.      Irminen recognize an authentically Heathen calendar (based on the records of Charlemagne). Théodsmen also recognize an authentically Heathen calendar (based on the records of Bede).
    2.      Both Irminenschaft and Théodish Belief insist on historical accuracy and attested sources, even if we sometimes disagree on the merits of certain source materials.
    3.      Both Irminenschaft and Théodish Belief are smaller in number than other Heathenrys allowing for a much more well-defined faith and a more committed community.
    4.      While many other Heathenrys are extremely anti-dogmatic, both Irminenschaft and Théodish Belief hold tightly to orthodoxy and orthopraxy.
    5.      Both Irminen and Théodsmen have demonstrated a willingness to adjust beliefs and practices to coincide with our learning and discovery.

    Next up: Irminenschaft vs. Ásatrú