What Is Odinism?

In creation there is diversity and in that wondrous and sacred diversity each folk family of the human race, in symbiosis with the ~ Divine creative powers ~ developed and evolved their own unique organic or natural religions.

The natural religion for the Indo European peoples (often called Northern European) is what today is called Odinism.

Like all true religions Odinism can be viewed as an entire and ‘holistic' system of ‘being'. As such it is the thread which runs through and links all aspects of being together, for as is taught in Odinism (and many other religions) everything that is, is inter-connected. Odinism is in one aspect the sum of our peoples shared and individual experience and wisdom. It evolves as our folk family evolves. It naturally has an exoteric or mundane aspect and a divine or esoteric aspect. A material and a spiritual, an outer and inner, both for individual and folk unit. It is experienced and intellectual, tangible and intangible. It offers the adherent a path for the spiritual evolution and also, because of its holistic reality, a way of living day to day life. It is in fact a way of life and a way of being.

Odinism is an expression in the world of form, of the Divine consciousness of the multiverse. It at once allows the Odinist to understand their own unique place in the multiverse and this place in conjunction with the other beings which exist in this ineffable creation called by us, the Multiverse.

It is a theistic religion in that it recognises the existence of the Gods and Goddesses, but does not dogmatically impose rules on ‘how' you see them.

The Gods and Goddesses of Odinism belong to two ‘groups` or ‘families` of beings called the Aesir and the Vanir. On a very basic level the Aesir can be said to govern and mould the ‘intellectual` aspects and the Vanir are more Earth based.
However this is very much an over simplification but this is not the place for detailed analysis. It is these divine beings (together with other entities) which have moulded us, our link with them is spiritual and biological. Again, the understanding and experience of the Gods is multi layered, suffice to say that whatever the stage of an individuals personal evolution, they can access the Gods of our folk in a meaningful way.
Like all complete religions, Odinism has its mythology. Myths are not to be understood as expressing literal truths or events, but as a way primal realities may be expressed. They explain deep realities and wisdom of creation in ways that we may understand. Far from being the fanciful tales of an ignorant people, the mythology of Odinism together with other Odinic teachings shows a very sophisticated, complex and profound knowledge of reality and existence. Odinism can be seen as an outward expression of the forces of creation and as a spiritual path ideally suited to our folk as a unique folk family. Odinsm and the Odinic impulse, the Odin consciousness in reality has never left us, but the conscious awareness was suppressed. Now we have seen a re-awakening, an overt awareness of our unique spiritual way. The Odinic Rite has been and is at the very forefront of the Odinic renewal. It must be realised that no written article, no information garnered from books or web sites can fully explain Odinsm, it is not just a thing to understand intellectually, but an experienced path with depths beyond mere words. Odinsm is a living religion, a combination of cultural, material, ethical and spiritual realities as they relate to our folk family and our place in creation. It evolves, as we evolve, we evolve, as it evolves.

For those who are interested in consciously re-establishing their link with their natural religion and spirituality, for those interested in following a path to the illumination of the Odin Consciousness. For those anxious to reclaim their unique heritage and play their role in heralding a golden future, we invite you to join the Odinic Rite.

Hail the New Awakening, May Odins Light Illuminate You.

SWSWSWSH

©2003 The Odinic Rite

The Odinic Rite

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the aims of the Odinic Rite?

The Odinic Rite is an organization whose aims are to promote all aspects of our ancestral religion today called Odinism, the organic spiritual beliefs and way of life of the indigenous peoples of Northern Europe. The watch-words of the Odinic Rite are "Faith, Folk, Family" and this summarizes their ideals well.

Odinism is an entire and whole system - a way of "being". It is concerned with all aspects of our folk - cultural, historical, ecological, mystical etc. etc. It is concerned with the ethics of social behavior, our relationships with one another and nature, with the whole of life.

Odinism defines our unique identity as a folk and as individuals within that folk organism. Odinists believe they cannot properly respect other folk until they can respect themselves. Odinism is seen not only as a link with the past, but as a strength for the present and a desire for a noble future.

As the Odinic religion is seen as a way of life - our inherited culture - Odinists feel they have a duty to pass it on to their children and to encourage their country men and women to find their own path. As our inspiration, we try to learn from it, and we seek to protect it, defend it, preserve it, advance and extend it, to bring about the New Awakening.

Does the Odinic Rite take a political viewpoint?

The Odinic Rite is not a political movement - a member's political outlook, if any, is up to them as free people. This does not mean members cannot comment on matters which affect us all. Indeed individual members would be abrogating their civic duty if they neglected or ignored the ethical matters that are constantly being discussed in the wider community. But although it is expected of members that they apply Odinist principles in all endeavors, they involve themselves in political activity as private individuals not as representatives of the Odinic Rite.

Who runs the Odinic Rite?

The Rite is run entirely by unpaid volunteers who devote their time, energy and effort in the service of the Odinist community and the High Gods. The Odinic Rite is governed by the Court of Gothar . The Court of Gothar is responsible for the spiritual guidenance of the OR, in effect ‘The Fount of the Odinic Law and Guardian of the Sacred Wisdom'.

How is the Rite financed?

By far the greatest source of finance comes from the annual donation made by the members. This is not a subscription as such, but donors receive the membership journal ORBriefing and Rimstock (an annual publication of Festival dates and contact details). Some finance comes from the sale of various booklets that the Odinic Rite publishes and some merchandise they can offer.

The Rite is a completely self-supporting community in that without the financial support of its members it could not exist. Members believe that by supporting the Rite - their community - they also support themselves as individuals within the community.

What is the Rite's money used for?

All monies raised are used to further our community's advance by publishing Odinic booklets including ORBriefing and Rimstock , publishing books such as The Book of Blotar. Organizing Moots and other events.

What is Apprentice Membership of the Odinic Rite?

Apprentice membership is open to all who feel an interest in and accord with Odinist principles. It is for those who are new to the Rite and gives a chance to learn more, make contacts and decide if they wish to become fully professed OR members. There is no pressure on anyone to become professed: it is a personal choice.

What is "Profession"?

The ceremony of profession confirms before the Gods and men a person's restoration to their true indigenous faith and their dedication to the Rite. They become full members of the Odinic Rite, Odin's Holy Nation.

It is not a step to be taken frivolously, for it is a very holy ceremony where irrevocable oaths are sworn. Usually someone wishing to be professed must have been an apprentice member for at least one year, and in any case they must be at least twelve years of age.

The act of profession is irrevocable by the individual: although we speak of "members" of the Odinic Rite, it is not possible to "resign" as though it were a club. The Odinic Rite is regarded as a folk community, the Nation of Odin. Once professed, the oaths taken always apply.

In order to become professed member, an apprentice must:

  1. Find an already professed member to conduct the ritual of profession.
  2. Find another already professed member to "sponsor" them.
  3. Complete an application form from the Secretary of the Court of Gothar.
  4. Obtain a"torc" (to be invested during the ritual) which is the symbol of the professed member - their "badge" of honor.

A professed member uses the initials OR after their name. (note: members of the Court of Gothar use the initials CG after their name).

What are the obligations of membership of the Rite?

The OR is a movement of volunteers, all having different strengths and weaknesses, different levels of ability and abilities. Within the Rite members strive to maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses, while believing in self-responsibility.

Members are expected to seek to abide by the personal obligations set out in the act of reception into membership of a Hearth or Garth:

  1. To strive for the advancement of the Odinic Rite, to promote its prosperity and spirituality and to sustain its worship and discipline.
  2. To maintain family loyalty.
  3. To educate one's children in the spirit of the Odinic Rite.
  4. In all ways to be zealous in one's efforts to advance the interests of our holy religion.
  5. To regard fellow members as comrades.
  6. To aid and be aided in sickness and distress.
  7. To maintain courtesy of speech.
  8. To be slow to take offence and to be ready for reconciliation without delay.

These apply as much to the Apprentice member as the Professed member.

Members of the Odinic Rite place high regard on the importance of the family and encourage at least one night a week be reserved as Family Night which is spent at home with the family and perhaps invited fellow Odinists who might otherwise spend the evening alone or in non-Odinist company. Hospitality is one of the Noble Virtues of the Odinic Rite. The importance of sworn oaths should be remembered.

How is the Rite organized locally?

Each individual member of the Rite is important and is regarded as a living cell of the living community of the Odinic Rite. Where possible, groups of members are encouraged to meet together, often at a member's home or a local site, to conduct Odinist celebrations (known as Blotar). These small local groups are known as Hearths .

Social contact is regarded as an important part of Odinism, as Odinism is a way of life, not a part-time hobby. The Hearth provides a circle in which the individual and group can learn from each other, help each other, cement comradeship etc. and in so doing benefit not just themselves but the community of the Odinic Rite as a whole. Hearths initiate and run various projects of benefit to the Odinist movement and have a high degree of autonomy, whilst still respecting the OR.

To form a fully recognized Hearth of the Odinic Rite, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The Hearth Guardian must be a professed member of the OR.
  2. The Guardian and at least two other members of the Hearth must contribute to the Rite by annual donation. Thus whole a family could form a Hearth - this is encouraged.
  3. The Hearth's proposed name must be submitted to the Court of Gothar for approval. (This ensures that there will be no confusion if a Hearth wanted to use a name already in use, and also that units are not representing the Community under a totally unsuitable name.)

Once these criteria are met, the Hearth is likely to be recognized as an official Hearth of the Odinic Rite and can use the initials OR to indicate this - for example, Odin's Hearth OR . The Hearth is a self-supporting unit and raises funds for its projects, its upkeep and the obtaining of regalia from within its ranks. There is nothing to prevent an Apprentice forming an Apprentice Hearth (called a Hearth AOR) with the intention of it becoming an official Hearth OR in time. (The OR supplies a booklet further detailing Hearths - this is sent out to donating members by request).

A Garth is a group whose membership is limited to professed members only and is subject to stricter guides.

A Hof is a group of Hearths and/or Garths who meet in its own premises with the purpose of making the Odinic Rite celebrations available to a wider audience. To this end, Hof Blotar, with certain exceptions, are accessible to the general public in the same way as churches and temples of other faiths.

What about geographically isolated members?

To try and overcome the problem of isolation some members may suffer, the OR initiated a contact scheme which attempts to put folk in touch with a professed members who could help with questions etc. and generally maintain contact. Due to geographical reasons, this contact is often by way of correspondence, but it does provide chance of contact with comrades as well as that given by ORB .

Why are the Runes so important?

Study of the runes is encouraged in Odinism. It should be remembered that the runes are far more than a divination system as is so often portrayed. Moreover they are a part of the Odinic system and the Odinic system alone. Attempts to merge or fit them to other systems, e.g.the Qabbalah, is pointless and will not lead to any deep understanding of our Runic system - though it may and often does lead to self-delusion.

On the other hand, those who believe that runes and runology are the be-all-and-end-all of Odinism have too narrow a vision of the runes, a shallow knowledge of their mysteries and a lack of understanding of the meaning of religion. The runes are the essential mystical ingredient of Odinism but not its sum total.


What are Odinic Names?

Some members, especially those holding official positions within the Odinist movement, adopt an Odinic name for use within the Rite. This is common practice among many religious bodies. For some it marks more clearly their restoration to the Odinic Faith, while others do not wish to be known by names which are not native to the folk. Still others wish to retain the names given to them by their parents. It is a matter of personal choice.

What calendar do Odinists use?

Odinists often use different month names and may even use a different numbering system for the years. Both emphasize a unique identity. The month names relate to the cycles of the year, for example Lenting, Harvest and Fogmoon, and are a reminder of natural rhythms and of the link to our ancestors who also used such names.

The year numbering system is more arbitrary and less widely used but is called the "Runic Era" (R.E.) and adds 250 years onto conventional Western calendar dates. This tallies with earliest runic artifacts found when the system was adopted (earlier examples have since been found) and was instigated to emphasize that Odinism is a natural organic religion, existing long before the arrival of Christianity. Some think that even this is an unnecessary limitation, as we know our culture and religion goes back much further still.

Year dates on www.Odinic-Rite.org will use the internationally accepted system of either C.E.(Common Era) or B.C.E. (Before Common Era), which correspond to A.D. and B.C. but without the overtones of an alien religion.

How do I join the Odinic Rite?

A membership application form is available for printing out, filling out and posting. Send all applications and monies to the

Odinic Rite,
BCM Runic
London
WC1N 3XX

How do I contact the Odinic Rite?

You may contact the Odinic Rite via e-mail at odinic-rite@odinic-rite.org or by post at Odinic Rite, BCM Runic, London WC1N 3XX, England. Don't forget, the OR is a voluntary organization and a substantial proportion of income is used up in postage costs. If you would like an information pack please send 4 firstclass stamps (UK residents) or a Postal coupon (Overseas residents).

What merchandise can the Odinic Rite supply?

A wide variety of merchandise is available by mail order from the Rite. Click to visit our shop

©2003 The Odinic Rite