My Christian Aunt Approves Of My Blog! 

One of my aunts is an incredibly devout Christian. She was raised in a very strict family of church goers, and as such is very traditional and devoted to her god. 

When I was born, my mother chose not to have me baptized; my aunt never really forgave her for that. My mother raised me to follow my own path, and to educate myself in many different belief systems before choosing that path. She is Wiccan herself, but since childhood my fascination with my Norse ancestors eventually led me to Ásatrú. (Many of my regular readers will know all this already, so this is for the benefit of newcomers!). 

My aunt called me yesterday, after we hadn’t spoken for a long while. She asked what I get up to in my spare time, so I ended up telling her about this blog. 

She asked for the URL so she could check it out, and to be honest I thought that she was only asking out of politeness, or to gain more ammunition against me (she pretty much believes me to be the Antichrist as I’ve played a few practical jokes on her in the past, such as wandering around her house at night and turning all her crucifixes upside down! In hindsight this was an immature prank, and only served to make her more afraid of my beliefs. She also thinks that heavy metal is the devil’s music).

So you can imagine how astounded I was when she texted me this morning to tell me that she had read virtually all my posts, saying that she could actually see the sense in some of our heathen beliefs!

She is never going to deviate from Christianity – and that isn’t my aim, she is free to believe what she wants – but it is encouraging to see someone so devout taking the time to at least try and understand heathenry! 

She is even going to print some of my posts to show her friends at her bible study group so that they can compare their religion with ours! 

This is one small step for heathens, but a giant leap for heathenkind. Hopefully she can convince her church friends that we aren’t to be feared! 

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Why I No Longer Fear Death 

When I was a small child, I had an irrational fear of dying. I have no idea where this phobia (if I can call it that) came from, but I found myself being overly cautious while most of my peers were reckless and carefree.

I’d have regular nightmares about dying, and I turned down a lot of amazing opportunities because I was too scared to take risks.

Having epilepsy and growing up around horses, I was a regular inpatient in hospital due to broken bones and seizures. Every time an ambulance was called or my parents drove me to the emergency room, I’d be almost hysterical in case I never came home.

It got so bad that I was actually risk assessing near enough every situation. It became an obsession as well as a fear. 

In my teens, I became extremely confused. Undiagnosed bipolar disorder and multiple bad circumstances occurring in my life caused me to feel suicidal, yet I was still terrified of dying. I attempted suicide a few times, but I was secretly glad when these attempts failed.

When I was 21 years old, something happened to me which pushed me over the precipice so to speak. I suffered an ectopic pregnancy which caused the rupture of my left fallopian tube, and subsequently I lost a great deal of blood. When I was taken to hospital, the doctors told me that without surgery I’d bleed to death within hours. 

At that moment, I had a sort of epiphany. I realised that I was staring death quite literally in the face; I was hovering between life and death, staring down into the abyss. The most surprising thing of all was that I wasn’t at all scared. You would expect to feel terrified and helpless in that sort of situation, but in all honesty, at that precise moment, I couldn’t care less if I died. I was in excruciating pain, and my logic was that if dying stopped the agony, I’d embrace it with open arms.

Obviously I’m writing this post, so I lived to tell the tale. In fact, as sad as the whole affair was, I’m actually kind of glad that it happened because it forced me to conquer my biggest fear. 

In the years since, my faith has helped me to get over my phobia even more. Ásatrú teaches us to have a ‘viking’ mentality – that death is the end of this life, but also the beginning of the next. 

When I do eventually leave Midgard, I am determined to do so with dignity and without fear – for I know that I will see my family and friends again, and hopefully sit among the gods in Valhalla. And even if our faith turns out to be misplaced, what is there to be scared of, really? 

In my experience, whether it be nothingness or the afterlife, its got to be better than the hardships and struggles of this life! 

8 Myths About The Vikings Which Are Actually False 

1. The Vikings wore horned helmets; this was actually a myth invented by the Christians to help promote a barbaric, terrifying image of their pagan enemy. 

2. All Vikings went raiding and pillaging; in actual fact, only a small percentage of Scandinavians actually ‘went viking’. The majority were simple farmers, and even many of those who set sail to discover new worlds were more interested in exploring and finding better agricultural lands than raiding. 

3. The Vikings were extraordinarily brutal; of course their violence was legendary, but it was a violent age. The thing which sets them apart from other notable bloodthirsty people in this period is the fact that they took great care to destroy Christian artifacts. They probably enjoyed their fearsome reputation, though, as in their heyday many terrified victims of their raids would pile up their valuables outside the door. Kings would also offer the vikings a considerable amount of gold or silver in return for not killing their subjects. 

4. The Vikings were universally hated by all who knew of them; actually, they were very much respected by several noteworthy leaders, such as King Charles the Third of France.  In Constantinople, the Byzantine emperors formed an army consisting entirely of Swedish Vikings, called the Varangians. 

5. The Vikings lived only in Scandinavia; although this is where they originated from, they took great pride in settling all over the known world, from North America to Constantinople and pretty much everywhere in between.

6. The Vikings drank from the skulls of their enemies; I quite like this idea, but sadly many experts believe this to be yet more Christian hate propaganda. 

7. The Vikings were filthy; in fact, compared to other cultures in those times, they were very hygienic and well groomed. 

8. ‘Vikings’ were a race; actually, the word ‘viking’ is akin to ‘pirate’ – so it was an occupation, not a race, as not all Scandinavians were vikings. 

Why We Should Probably Stop Using The Term ‘Heathen’

Yes, I know – I am probably sounding like a total hypocrite right now! 

My own blog is called ‘Modern Norse Heathen’. And the majority of my posts refer to myself and my beliefs as ‘heathen’. 

But recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the connotations of this term.

Once used as an offensive, derogatory way for Christians to describe pagans, somehow it has worked its way into our culture and has been reinvented in a positive light.

The modern definition of the word heathen is thus: “a person who does not belong to a widely held religion, such as Christianity, Islam or Judaism”. In this sense, I guess we fit into this category nicely.

However, when our pagan ancestors roamed Midgard, this word was tantamount to an insult. True, our forefathers probably didn’t care much, but the Christians who persecuted them would have considered it offensive. 

Don’t get me wrong, I for one will not stop using the term as I feel its modern definition is fitting. But its sometimes good to consider the historical facts! 

Homosexuality & Gender Dysphoria in a Heathen Context 

Once again, this is likely to be a controversial post. I hope I do not offend anyone with what I have to say. 

I feel that this is a subject which needs to be addressed, yet I’ve found that very little has actually been written about it. 

Homosexuality is nothing new. Our ancestors practised it quite openly, and there were rarely (if any) recriminations. In contrast, in many other cultures worldwide, to be gay was frowned upon and in some cases was even a criminal offence, punishable by death. 

Yet in Scandinavia, it simply wasn’t taboo. 

Indeed, gender dysphoria is also nothing new – obviously it was not spoken about often, and surgery/hormone treatments did not exist – but there are plenty of historical accounts which describe men and women who felt trapped in their own bodies. Many of them were transvestites, but a great deal more suffered in silence. 

In kemetic (ancient Egyptian) mythology, several deities supposedly possessed the ability to swap gender at will. Several were even asexual (able to reproduce by themselves with no assistance from the opposite sex). 

Sadly, in modern times, despite recent generations being more tolerant of such people, there is still a lot of stigma attached. 

A lot of so called heathens believe that homosexuality and gender dysmorphia are signs of weakness. In their view, men should be masculine, and women should be feminine. 

Perhaps rather tellingly, the majority of people who hold these opinions are men who are usually accepting of lesbians, but not gay men. 

Whilst it is true that most women have bisexual tendencies, I feel that this opinion is very misogynistic, and ultimately undermines our core heathen values.

I am no feminist (I think that modern feminism is a disgrace), but I am strongly against this old fashioned, outdated viewpoint which dictates that lesbians are acceptable purely because most men find the notion attractive. 

Men like these are hypocrites. They would most likely cut off their left arm for the chance to watch a couple of women in bed together, yet they would feel repulsed if two men did the same.

I understand that it may not be attractive if you are a heterosexual male, but why must you react so negatively (in many cases, aggressively)?

Unless they are doing it in front of you, there is really no justification for your anger! 

Many of these so called heathens believe that homosexuals and transgenders should not be allowed to practise Ásatrú. But why not? Does it threaten the macho man image you’ve oh so carefully cultivated? This sort of chauvinism is far more suited to the Abrahamic faiths! 

In my opinion, a ‘true’ heathen would welcome anyone into our ranks, regardless of their sexuality or gender. Our ancestors most probably would have accepted them, so why shouldn’t we?

In order to follow the ancient path, we need to think like those who walked it before us. It is ironic that what would have been fairly ordinary a thousand years ago is now taboo; humanity has gone backwards in terms of acceptance and morality. 

After speaking to several gay and trans heathens/pagans, it is clear to see that their personal wants and needs have no real impact on their faith. Yet many have reported negativity from members of our community. 

This truly saddens me. To be heathen is to celebrate individuality and reject conformity – to be the wolf, not the sheep. 

It seems that the most well used excuse for this intolerance is the potential impact gay/trans people could have on our species. But this argument is full of flaws:

1. As I’ve already stated, such things have been practised since the dawn of mankind; the worldwide population has grown at an alarming rate, therefore it has clearly not had any detrimental effect on our species.

2. Purely for clarification, I shall attempt to use a numerical example (I am not good at arithmetic, but I’m sure you can see my point for yourselves): statistics showed that in 2016 only 0.01% of the UK population was an ‘official’ transgender – meaning that they’d undergone surgery or treatment. Even if you factor in those who are simply transvestites, and even those who haven’t yet come out of the closet so to speak, the percentage probably wouldn’t be higher than 5%. If you add on homosexuality statistics, you get a rough figure of 6.5% of the UK population who will probably not reproduce due to being transgender/homosexual. If you apply the same equations to the worldwide population, the figure would be nowhere near half! In actual fact, barely even a quarter! 

The same people who are whining about trans/gay people not reproducing are the same ones who would start riots if they did (don’t forget – many freeze their sperm and eggs for artificial insemination). What about career men/women who choose not to have children? Will they also be subjected to such levels of hatred for their life choices?

I could say a lot more, but I will end it here. In conclusion, my point is that there are far greater threats to humanity than homosexuals/transgenders. I for one – a straight female – will always accept them. Anyone who doesn’t should probably find another belief system more suited to their prejudice. 

Exciting Times Ahead! 

Hi everyone,

I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a Modern Norse Heathen YouTube channel for a while now, but I’m unsure of where or how to start! I know how to make a YouTube account, and I’m familiar with the platform, but I do not have a PC or webcam. All I have is my smartphone, and a video editing app! 

If anyone could give me any tips for starting my first proper YouTube channel, a list of useful apps etc. I’d be very grateful! 

Many thanks,

Modern Norse Heathen 

Facts About Ásatrú

1. Ásatrú literally means ‘faith in the gods’. 

2. The number of followers of Ásatrú has grown from a mere 12 in 1972, to around 3000 today (although I suspect there are a lot more out there than these official statistics suggest!).

3. Iceland recognized Ásatrú as an official religion in 1973.

4. Its source is the old Norse religion practised by Iceland’s early pagan settlers.

5. Ásatrú is a polytheistic religion, which means that it recognizes a range of gods/goddesses.

6. There’s no prescribed dogma or scripture, although followers are encouraged to read the Poetic and Prose Eddas.

7. It is not a requirement to pray to the gods. As long as you respect and believe in them, you are free to ask them for guidance in whatever manner you choose.

8. It costs nothing to join, and is open to all, irrespective of race, gender, nationality or sexual orientation.

Help Me Choose My Next Subject! 

Choose my next post subject! 

Its time to write a new article or post for my blog! Help me choose the subject by commenting with what you’d like to see me write about! 

It can be about something personal to me/my personal opinions, history/mythology, or about a certain aspect of Ásatrú/paganism. Its completely up to you guys!