26 April 2011

10 Differences & 5 Similarities Between Irminenschaft and Odinism

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 (and the ones to follow comparing Irminenschaft to other Heathenrys) is certainly not intended to be complete, but is intended as something of a generalized notion.

It should be stated that not all Odinists or Odinist organizations believe/practice the same way, so anything described herein is done only in very general terms.

1.      Irminenschaft uses a combination of Old High German and Kalic terminology as a liturgical language. Odinism lacks a liturgical language, preferring to use whatever is the modern tongue spoken locally.
2.      Odinism places a heavy emphasis on the relationship of the individual/community with Odin and Frigga (Wodan and Frija). Irminen honour all the gods and goddesses equally.
3.      Irminenschaft is completely polytheistic, seeing the dynamic relationships between the three clans of gods as intrinsic to the establishment and maintenance of the All. Odinists perceive Odin as something of a godhead, with all the other gods and goddesses manifesting aspects of Odin.
4.      Irminen practice a folk religion carried on by the German people and their descendants. Odinists see their faith as belonging to all Caucasians.
5.      Irminenschaft perceives itself as a religious and cultural movement. Odinism also sees itself as a religious and cultural movement, but also involves itself in questions of economics and politics.
6.      Odinists expect to see a “fall of the West” (Ragnarok) after which they will have the opportunity to rebuild an Odinic-based culture. Irminen do not hold to such a belief. Our notion of Godotuom (MoHG: Götterdämmerung) is perceived in a more mythic sense.
7.      Irminen place a greater emphasis on our altmâgâ (OHG: “ancestors”) and the wihtir (OHG: “beings”; “spirits”) than on the gods. Odinists emphasise the gods and only in recent years have begun to dig more deeply into ancestor worship.
8.      Irminen use an authentic calendar based on the records of Karl der Groß (Charlemagne) to track months and holy tides. Odinists use a reconstructed calendar for the same.
9.      Irminen focus on the gods of the German people (although a few Scandinavian or English deities have been imported into the German tradition). Odinists focus primarily on the gods of Iceland.
10.   Irminenschaft evolved greatly from its roots because of its interplay with Théodish Belief. Odinism evolved greatly from its roots because of its interplay with Ásatrú.

And now for some similarities:

1.      Neither Irminenschaft nor Odinism have a self-perception of practicing a reconstructed religion. Both Heathenrys are planted firmly in the present and keep our eyes on the future.
2.      Both Irminenschaft and Odinism find our roots in the First Reawakening but have been changed significantly by influences brought on by other Heathenrys during the Second Reawakening.
3.      Both Irminenschaft and Odinsim are smaller in number than other Heathenrys allowing for a much more well-defined faith and a more committed community.
4.      Both Irminenschaft and Odinism have been tarred with the racialist and/or neo-nazi brush by most of the uninformed media.
5.      Both Irminen and Odinists have demonstrated a willingness to adjust our beliefs and practices to coincide with our learning and discovery.

Next up: 10 Differences and 5 Similarities Between Irminenschaft and Théodish Belief

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