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Ásatrúarfélagið

"Asatru Association" redirects here. For other Asatru religious organisations, see Heathenry (new religious movement).

Ásatrúarfélagið (Icelandic: , Ásatrú Fellowship) is an Icelandic religious organisation of heathenry (in Iceland also called Ásatrú, "ás faith"). It was founded on the First Day of Summer 1972, and granted recognition as a registered religious organization in 1973, allowing it to conduct legally binding ceremonies and collect a share of the church tax. The Allsherjargoði is the chief religious official.

Ásatrúarfélagið
Formation1972
TypeHeathenry, Icelandic folk religion
Location
Membership
5221 (1.32%)
Official language
Icelandic
Founder
Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson
Key people
Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson
Jóhanna G. Harðardóttir
Websitewww.asatru.is

The organization was led by farmer and poet Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson from 1972 until his death in 1993. During most of this period membership did not exceed 100 people and after the initial enthusiasm faded, there was little activity. The time of the next high priest, Jörmundur Ingi Hansen (1994–2002), saw considerable growth and activity, including the design of an Ásatrú burial ground. These trends have continued under the present high priest, musician Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson (2003–), and as of January 1, 2018, the organization has 4126 registered members, about one third of whom are women. Since 2002, the number of registered members has grown annually from 8% (2006–2007) to 21% (2011–2012).

Ásatrúarfélagið does not have a fixed religious dogma or theology but the high priests have tended towards a pantheistic worldview. The central ritual is the communal blót feast but the priests (goðar) also conduct name-giving ceremonies, coming of age rituals, weddings and funerals. The organization has on some occasions taken a stance on political issues, including abortion rights, gay marriage, the separation of church and state, and environmental issues. The organisation is a founding member of the European Congress of Ethnic Religions.

Contents

Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and other members of Ásatrúarfélagið walk to a blót at Þingvellir in the summer of 2009.

Origins

The idea to found a folk religious organization came about in late winter 1972 in discussions in a café in Reykjavík. The four men who would become the organization's early leaders and ideologues were Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson, a farmer and a traditionalist poet, Jörmundur Ingi Hansen, a jack of all trades and a prominent person in the Reykjavík hippie movement, Dagur Þorleifsson, a journalist and active member of the Reykjavík theosophy lodge, and Þorsteinn Guðjónsson, leader of Félag Nýalssinna, an organization devoted to the theories of Helgi Pjeturss.

Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson described the founding of Ásatrúarfélagið as based on a belief in hidden forces in the land and connected to "the desire that Icelanders could have their own faith, and nourish it no less than imported religions". Dagur Þorleifsson emphasized that the religion constituted a movement back to nature, seeking refuge from the ills of industrial civilization. One observer traces the origins of the organization to the countercultural and religious waves of the time, as well as to nationalism and the widespread Icelandic interest in spiritism, theosophy and elves.

The Ásatrú organization was formed on the First Day of Summer 1972 in a meeting at Hótel Borg. In a meeting shortly thereafter Sveinbjörn was chosen as chairman and dubbed allsherjargoði.

Recognition

Shortly before Christmas 1972, Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson and Þorsteinn Guðjónsson visited Ólafur Jóhannesson, minister of justice and ecclesiastical affairs, and expressed interest in registering Ásatrúarfélagið as an official religious organization. The minister at first believed that the request was a joke but when Sveinbjörn and Þorsteinn told him that they were serious he requested additional paperwork. According to Sveinbjörn, shortly after he and Þorsteinn exited the ministry, the lights in the center of town went out due to a thunderstorm, leaving the minister sitting in the dark. The newspaper Vísir wrote about this in a jocular tone, noting that "the representatives of the Ásatrúarmenn got rather vague answers from the minister, — and apparently that's what Thor the thunder god thought as well, because as the visit was at an end and the minister stood up to follow the guests to the door there was a terrible thunder in the center of Reykjavík, causing damage close to the office of the ministry".

Sigurbjörn Einarsson, Bishop of Iceland, recommended to the ministry that the organization not be granted recognition. In a written opinion, later published, the bishop pointed out that the Icelandic constitution granted everyone a right to "found organizations to serve god" and that this assumed a monotheistic outlook. Sigurbjörn cited the opinion of legal scholar Einar Arnórsson, published in 1912, that "polytheistic religious organizations founded [in Iceland] would therefore not be protected by the constitution". Sigurbjörn further criticized the application for not including the declaration of an individual stating that he would assume the leadership of the organization. He criticized the organization for having vague teachings and for not including clear documents on them. He also pointed out that the organization had no dedicated house of worship.

In Sigurbjörn's opinion the most significant effort to revive Germanic folk religion happened in Nazi Germany and was connected to the racial ideology of that regime. He pointed out that the present applicants had hitherto considered themselves followers of the Nýall theories of Helgi Pjeturss and that these theories contained the same racial elements as the Nazi ideology. The bishop expressed concern over the possible moral teachings of an Ásatrú organization, in particular as regarded individualism, polygamy and security of person. Finally he pointed out that the group applying for recognition was small, consisting of 21 individuals. Morgunblaðið, Iceland's biggest daily newspaper, declared its agreement with the bishop in an editorial. The paper stated that the Christian faith was the "basis of Icelandic society" and that "Christ is enough, though he was not enough for Hitler, Stalin or their followers".

In the Asatruers' reply to the bishop's criticism they argued that even Christianity had some polytheistic elements and that Ásatrú could include a belief in a Supreme Being. They denied any association with national socialism and argued that it was doubtful that the Third Reich had any genuine Asatruers while it was certain that a number of Christian sects had cooperated with the Nazis.

Ásatrúarfélagið was officially recognized as a religious organization by the Icelandic government in May, 1973. This gives it the legal right to perform marriages and other ceremonies and also entitles it to a share of the church tax in proportion to its number of adult members.

In the Althing, Halldór Blöndal and Magnús Jónsson, members of the Independence Party, requested an explanation for why Ólafur Jóhannesson had given legal recognition to Ásatrúarfélagið. The minister defended his decision on the grounds that the constitution granted freedom of association and freedom of religion. Magnús Jónsson argued that the constitution applied freedom of religion only to monotheistic religions and that the recognition of an organization practicing polytheism and idol worship was thus an illegal act. The minister countered that legal scholars had debated whether the clause applied to polytheism.

In 1975, the Althing changed the law in a way that made it more difficult for new religious organizations to gain recognition.

First allsherjargoði (1972-1993)

Number of members in Ásatrúarfélagið as a function of time

On August 5, 1973, Ásatrúarfélagið held the first public outdoor blót (plural same as singular) in Iceland since public blót were forbidden by law in the year 1000. The event was held at Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson's farm at Dragháls in pelting rain below a plaster statue of the god Thor made by Jörmundur Ingi Hansen. The blót was described by the newspaper Vísir as "vigorous and energetic" while Sigurður A. Magnússon commented that the historic significance of the event had not been matched by the quality of the ceremony, "It could hardly have been simpler or more pedestrian".

Ásatrúarfélagið had received extensive media coverage even in its very early formative stages and by the time of the first public blót that attention extended to foreign media and had become disproportionate to the scale of the event with about as many journalists as participants attending.

Early on, the organization had ambitious plans for building a temple, getting a burial ground, and dividing the land into goðorð, led by individual goðar (a nomenclature borrowed from the political system of the Icelandic Commonwealth). However, membership in the organization did not increase as quickly as these goals would have necessitated. In 1973 Ásatrúarfélagið had 58 registered members, in 1974 it had 70 and in 1976 it had 77. As its leaders realized that the organization's more ambitious goals could not be quickly achieved, the society settled down to a low level of activity. In 1983 a blót had not been held for three years, but one was arranged to provide the makers of a documentary with material.

By the mid-80s, membership in the organization started to rise every year. In 1985 there were 74 members and by 1992 membership had risen to 119. At that point the organization decided that the time had come for increased activity. The same year, Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson published his autobiography.

Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson acted as allsherjargoði from 1972 until his death in December 1993. He lived a simple life on a farm without modern luxuries. A popular grandfatherly figure, he was "a little eccentric and shy in his role as a media spokesman". He left a lasting impression in people's minds.

Second allsherjargoði (1994-2002)

Jörmundur Ingi is sworn in as allsherjargoði in July 1994.

In late 1993, Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson died and in 1994, elections were held for a new allsherjargoði. The candidates were Jörmundur Ingi Hansen and Haukur Halldórsson. Jörmundur Ingi ran on a platform of continuity while Haukur promised more innovation. Jörmundur Ingi won with 59 votes against 34.

While Jörmundur was, like Sveinbjörn, an older man knowledgeable in ancient literature, he differed from his predecessor in his greater skill at dealing with the media. Jörmundur's time as allsherjargoði saw a rapid rise in membership in the organization, going from 172 in 1994 to 628 in 2002. Jörmundur's time also saw an increase in the percentage of women members, going from 13% in 1994 to 21% in 2002.

In 1999, the organization achieved one of its oldest goals of having a burial ground of its own. The burial ground was designed by Jörmundur Ingi and the first burial took place the same year.

In the summer of 2000, on the occasion of the 1000 year commemoration of the Christianisation of Iceland, the Icelandic state and the Church of Iceland organized a celebration at Þingvellir. Ásatrúarfélagið had its own annual blót at Þingvellir at the same time, leading to conflict over the use of facilities with some underlying ideological tensions. In the end, more than 1000 people participated in Ásatrúarfélagið's summer event, more than in any previous ceremony by the organization.

In 2000, Ásatrúarfélagið passed the Buddhist Association of Iceland and the Icelandic Bahá'i Community to become Iceland's largest non-Christian religious organization.

The growth of the organization brought with it increased complexity and internal disputes.

Third and fourth allsherjargoðar (2002-)

Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, fourth allsherjargoði, at a ceremony in June 2009

In 2002, the board of directors sacked Jörmundur and installed Jónína Kristín Berg (born 1962) as temporary allsherjargoði. In 2003, musician Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson (born 1958), was chosen as allsherjargoði. As of 2018, he remains in office. The demographic trends of previous years have continued. The number of members went from 628 in 2002 to 4126 in 2018 (from 0.20% to 1.18% of the population of Iceland) while the percentage of women has gone from 21% in 2002 to 33% in 2018.

Year Members Growth
2002 570 11%
2003 636 12%
2004 787 24%
2005 879 12%
2006 960 9%
2007 1040 8%
2008 1154 11%
2009 1275 10%
2010 1402 10%
2011 1700 21%
2012 1951 15%
2013 2148 10%
2014 2382 11%
2015 2675 12%
2016 3187 19%
2017 3583 12%
2018 4186 17%
2019 4473 7%
2020 4723 6%

In 2006, the Ministry of Justice increased the number of Ásatrú priests allowed to conduct legally binding ceremonies (icelandic:vígsluréttindi) from two (the allsherjargoði and his substitute) to five. Two of those five priests are women. As of 2018 there are 10 priests who are officially allowed by the government to conduct legally binding ceremonies.

The Ásatrú graveyard in Reykjavík

The website of Ásatrúarfélagið (as of 2009) defines Ásatrú as belief "in the Icelandic/Nordic folklore, the spirits and entities the folklore represents, in addition to gods and other beings from the Nordic pantheism".

From the beginning, Ásatrúarfélagið has not had any fixed religious dogma or theology. Individual members have various beliefs (there are, for example, a number of Wiccan members). Though members are not expected to follow the lead of any religious authority, all the high priests have publicly expressed their personal beliefs at one point or another.

Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson summarized his religious convictions in his autobiography, saying that he had not a simple religious conviction but a "somewhat unquiet faith".

My faith is based on a constant search but I don't search frantically. It's no use to rush out into space to search for some gods there, if they want to have anything to do with me, they will come. I have often become aware of them, but I don't rush after them or shout at them. I have gotten to know them a bit in myself and also in other people. ... Primarily it is the effects of the great force felt by everyone that make me religious. ... The most remarkable thing about faith is that it gives us growth, the possibility to grow and thrive. And humility cannot be neglected. Without it we cannot live to any useful degree, though of course it has its particular place. But a man who is completely without it is a madman.

In a 1992 interview, Jörmundur Ingi Hansen expressed his views on various theological subjects, including the nature of the gods and the basis of his Ásatrú beliefs.

From my perspective, the world is split into two in its nature, divided into constructive forces, the æsir, and the destructive forces which we call jötnar. ... Ásatrú or heathenry is basically only to realize this dichotomy and to decide to side with the æsir. The best way to do that, in my opinion, is to be self-consistent, live in harmony with nature, associate with it with respect and to submit to the public order. ... The gods shape the dwelling places of people, the earth and the solar system out of the material that already exists. To that extent we can look on the forces of nature as the gods themselves and to a large extent that is what people did in antiquity.

In a 1996 interview, Jónína K. Berg said:

Ásatrú is a pantheistic belief. The earth, the air and the water has great value to us. We are a part of the earth and not its masters.

In a 2003 interview, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson summarized his faith.

I believe in a higher power which appears to us in the multiplicity of nature and of human life. We have manifestations of certain primal forces which we regard as gods and we have a division in the roles of the gods. These are powers that are visible, half-visible and sometimes invisible. One could have a long scholarly discussion on the role of individual gods, but in the end this is a question of a feeling for the different aspects of life.

Monotheism is one truth for the masses, but polytheism is many truths for the individual.

Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson at a blót in 1991

The central ritual performed by Ásatrúarfélagið is the communal blót feast. A blót starts with a goði hallowing the ceremony with a certain formula and declaring a truce between all present. This is followed by the reciting or chanting of verses from the Poetic Edda. Next, a drinking horn is passed around and participants drink to the gods, the wights and the ancestors. Libations are offered. This initial part of the ceremony, often conducted outdoors, is followed by a communal feast, typically indoors. The feast is often accompanied by musical performances or other forms of entertainment.

In the early days of the movement, the founders were asked whether they conducted ritual slaughter of animals during blót. The general response was that while this would not be morally problematic it was not practical. Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson commented:

No, for the simple reason that we can't be bothered. It's far easier to just get a carcass so that's what we do. In earlier times it was normal to slaughter the animal in place because people couldn't store meat. But in modern circumstances it's completely unnecessary and too much trouble."

Nevertheless, during the first public blót "a sympathizing visual artist brought along a live cock and had it beheaded in the kitchen, while the lamb was being cooked".

Ásatrúarfélagið has since stated that it rejects the use of Ásatrú as a justification for animal sacrifice, as well as for militarism and supremacy ideology.

The four main blót are Jólablót ("Yule blót") on the winter solstice, Sigurblót ("Victory blót") on the First Day of Summer, Sumarblót ("Summer blót") on the summer solstice, and Veturnáttablót ("Winter Nights blót") on the First Day of Winter. The organization also holds Þorrablót and individual goðar hold local blót on various occasions.

Other rituals include name-giving ceremonies, siðfesta (a coming of age ritual), weddings and burials. The first Ásatrú name-giving ceremony took place in November 1973. Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson performed the first Ásatrú wedding ceremony in August 1977, marrying Dagur Þorleifsson and Ingibjörg Hjartardóttir. Since 1999, the organization has its own burial ground and several burials have taken place.

As a part of the Jólablót, children light candles to celebrate the rebirth of the sun. The organization has intermittently run a Sunday school and a youth group.

Main hof

Veturnáttablót 2009 on the site where the temple was to be built

In 2005, a decision was made to sell the organization's property. The property had increased substantially in value since it was bought in 1998. The profit from the sale made building a temple (referred to by the organisation in Icelandic as a hof) a realistic option and an application for a plot of land was sent to the Reykjavík city council. Processing of the application took longer than the organization had hoped for due to political instability in Reykjavík. In January 2008, a plot of land was finally granted in Öskjuhlíð, a wooded hill in Reykjavík 'The temple will be built into the surrounding cliffs and overlooks the beautiful Nauthólsvík beach. Its design is timeless; being neither contemporary nor reminiscent of the Viking era.' Ásatrúarfélagið commissioned five architects to present proposals for a temple building. Those were ready in September 2008. The organization lost a substantial amount of money in the collapse of the Icelandic banks in October 2008 but proceeded with study of different options for a temple building. The architect Magnús Jensson was chosen; it was announced in February 2015 that the temple construction would start in early 2015, and in 2016 that the temple would be completed in 2017. However, technical problems led to a temporary halt in 2017, and at that time completion was not expected until 2018.

Ásheimar

Árni Sverrisson, a member of Ásatrúarfélagið, built a hof at his farm Efri Ás in Skagafjörður from 2010 to 2014. The project started as a small building which eventually grew to 80 square meters. The building was constructed with stone and turf walls, a wooden framework and a turf covered roof. It was named Ásheimar and consecrated by the goði Jóhanna Harðardóttir in 2014.

In June 1974 Ásatrúarfélagið issued a press release opposing the legalization of abortion and recommending strict punishment for distributors of narcotics. In April 1975 there was another press release opposing abortion, this time noting that the battle for legalization of abortion could be "traced to international movements opposed to the Nordic nations and in particular to the Nordic race". A few days later, Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson stated that this latter press release did not have its origins in any legal meeting of Ásatrúarfélagið and only represented the private opinions of its author.

In the following years, Ásatrúarfélagið mostly did not involve itself in political questions, though individual members did. Having been unable to advance his racial ideology within Ásatrúarfélagið, Þorsteinn Guðjónsson in 1982 founded a separate organization, Norrænt mannkyn ("Nordic Race"), to lobby for the reduction of immigration and banning of abortion. Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson was active in the peace movement, erecting a níðstöng against nuclear power in 1985.

Summarizing her 1991 study of Germanic folk religion, literary scholar Stefanie von Schnurbein describes Ásatrúarfélagið as a "mix of individualistic anarchists, atheistic church opponents, and racist spiritualists". In a 2001 study of Ásatrú in Iceland, anthropologist María Erlendsdóttir disagreed, pointing out that von Schnurbein's field research included only two interviews with members of the organization and arguing that this was "not enough to give sound grounds to her accusations". She further argued that "the heavy accusations of Von Schnurbein contradict certain clues that Ásatrúarfélagið has an open mind to people of other cultures and races" and concluded that "Icelandic paganism in contemporary society has strong roots within folk belief and literary tradition".

In a 2000 study of Ásatrúarfélagið, religious studies scholar Michael Strmiska noted that "Ásatrú movements in America and Scandinavia have been known to espouse racist and Neo-Nazi ideology" but that he was "not aware of any member of Icelandic Ásatrú espousing such sentiments or ideology".

Since early on, environmentalism has been important to members of Ásatrúarfélagið and the organization has been active in environmentalist causes. In October 2003, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson erected a níðstöng against the Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant. Jóhanna G. Harðardóttir, a goði, wrote on the occasion: "We have come to call upon gods and good wights. We intend to ask for mercy for our land and we intend to erect a níðstöng to those who dishonor their mother, the earth."

Since 2007, Ásatrúarfélagið participates in forest reclamation in Heiðmörk with the Icelandic Forestry Association.

The organization has fought for the right to marry gay couples.

Ásatrúarfélagið has fought for the separation of church and state, and for a share in a fund currently only accessible to the National Church. The Church supports the latter effort. Ásatrúarfélagið cooperates on issues of common concern with other Icelandic religious organizations, in particular the Reykjavík Free Church.

In 2003, Sigurjón Þórðarson, an active member of Ásatrúarfélagið and a goði, was elected to the Althing for the Liberal Party. When asked if his faith shaped the way he approached laws and the structure of government he replied: "I’m in favour of separating faith and law, but I do think that faith marks the individual."

In August 2014 Ásatrúarfélagið issued a statement against the abuse of their name and their religion:

We strongly oppose any attempt by individuals to use their association with the Ásatrúarfélag of Iceland to promote attitudes, ideologies and practices rejected by the leadership of the Ásatrúarfélag. We particularly reject the use of Ásatrú as a justification for supremacy ideology, militarism and animal sacrifice. It should also be known that visitors have no authority to speak on our behalf. There is no advisor to the Ásatrúarfélag and there is no spokesman other than our allsherjargoði. We respectfully request that visitors not claim any such authority based on their association with us.

  1. In his youth, the bishop was himself a Nýall follower and, in his own words "wholeheartedly pagan".
  2. A number of Ásatrúarfélagið's founders participated in Nýall activities, though not all of them did so. Conversely, not all Nýall followers joined Ásatrúarfélagið.
    Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson says in his autobiography, "My brother Pétur read about the theories of Helgi Pjeturss and was fascinated by them. Then I started studying them as well and I found them remarkable. What appealed to me especially was his theory about life on other stars or planets which replaced the old idea of Heaven; everything was more understandable and more material in what he said. Helgi also had remarkable theories about dreams, he thought they occurred because of influence from other people, even from other stars. This influenced me."
    Þorsteinn Guðjónsson was a devoted Nýall participant both before and after the founding of Ásatrúarfélagið. In the late 80s he published an English-language journal, Huginn&Muninn, dedicated to Nýall theories, paganism and racial ideology.
    Jörmundur Ingi Hansen participated in some Nýall séances. In a 2008 interview he said he "did not feel he got any real information from the proceedings" and that he was "not at all convinced that the information that comes forward at meetings like this is actually from deceased individuals".
  3. Years earlier, Ólafur Jóhannesson had himself argued that the clause applied to polytheism.
  1. Populations by religious and life stance organizations 1998-2019. Statistics Iceland.
  2. "Ásatrúarfélagið: Félagafjöldi". Ásatrúarfélagið. RetrievedAugust 24, 2018.
  3. Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson (1992:132).
  4. Pétur Pétursson (1985:21-22).
  5. Sigurður A. Magnússon (1990:198)
  6. Icelandic, "Hugmyndin að Ásatrúarfélaginu byggðist á trú á dulin öfl í landinu, í tengslum við mannfólkið sem skynjaði ekki þessa hluti til fulls nema einstöku menn. Það tengdist síðan þjóðlegum metnaði og löngun til að Íslendingar ættu sína trú, og ræktu hana ekki síður en innflutt trúarbrögð." Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson (1992:140).
  7. Sigurður A. Magnússon (1990:198-9).
  8. Pétur Pétursson (1985:3-4).
  9. Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson (1992:133).
  10. "Heldur fengu fulltrúar Ásatrúarmanna loðin svör hjá ráðherra, — og það hefur þrumuguðnum Þór víst líka fundizt, því þegar erindinu var lokið, ráðherra búinn að standa upp úr sæti sínu og fylgja gestunum til dyra, — datt ein hin ferlegasta þruma niður í miðborg Reykjavíkur og olli skemmdum ekki alllangt frá ráðuneytisskrifstofunni." JBP. Vísir, January 2, 1973. Page 3. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=3246644&issId=238186&lang=en"
  11. Icelandic, "stofna félög til að þjóna guði".
  12. Sigurbjörn Einarsson. "Um ásatrú". Morgunblaðið. December 13, 1973, page 12. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=1449074&issId=115755&lang=en The opinion is dated to January 2, 1973, and was originally presented to the ministry of justice and ecclesiastical affairs.
  13. Icelandic, "Fleirgyðistrúfélög stofnuð hér á landi, mundu því ekki njóta verndar samkvæmt stjskr."
  14. Icelandic, "heiðinn af lífi og sál". Sigurbjörn Einarsson. "Mér er kunnugt um mann...". Játningar. Hlaðbúð, 1948. Page 147.
  15. Anderson, Robert. The Ghosts of Iceland. Wadsworth, 2005. ISBN 0-534-61052-8 Pages 68-69.
  16. von Schnurbein (1991:181).
  17. Haukur Matthíasson. "Ásatrúarmenn[,] biskup og dr. Helgi Péturss". Morgunblaðið, December 19, 1973, page 10. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?issId=115763&pageId=1449356&lang=en
  18. Icelandic, "Pétur bróðir las sér til um kenningar Helga Pjeturss og hreifst mjög af þeim. Þá fór ég að kynna mér þær líka og fannst þær merkilegar. Einkum höfðaði til mín kenning hans um lífið á öðrum stjörnum eða hnöttum sem kom í staðinn fyrir gömlu hugmyndina um himnaríki; það varð allt skiljanlegra og efnislegra hjá honum. Helgi var líka með merkilegar kenningar um drauma, hann taldi að þeir yrðu fyrir áhrif frá öðrum mönnum, jafnvel öðrum stjörnum. Þetta hafði áhrif á mig." Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson (1992:38).
  19. von Schnurbein (1991:186).
  20. Icelandic, "mér fannst ekki að ég fengi neinar raunverulegar upplýsingar út úr því sem þar átti sér stað. Ég er alls ekki sannfærður um að þær upplýsingar sem koma fram á svona fundum séu í raun frá látnum einstaklingum." Trú og lífsýn goðans", Morgunblaðið, August 24, 2008, page 29.
  21. "Kristin trú". Morgunblaðið, December 22, 1973, page 18. Available online at http://new.timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=1449516&issId=115767&lang=en
  22. Pétur Pétursson (1985:11).
  23. Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson (1992:133-34, 141).
  24. "Fyrirspurnartími". Morgunblaðið, November 27, 1973. Page 14. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=1448476&issId=115737&lang=en
  25. Ólafur Jóhannesson. Stjórnskipun Íslands. Hlaðbúð, 1960. Page 429.
  26. Pétur Pétursson (1985:28).
  27. Icelandic, "fór fram með tilþrifum og atorku", "Reiddust goðin?" Vísir, August 7, 1973. Page 1. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=3249986&issId=238363&lang=en
  28. Sigurður A. Magnússon (1990:194).
  29. ÞS. "Blótuðu Þór í úrhellisrigningu." Vísir, August 7, 1973, page 2. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=3249987&issId=238363&lang=en
  30. Pétur Pétursson (1985:passim).
  31. Sigurður A. Magnússon (1990:193).
  32. Pétur Pétursson (1985:18).
  33. Sigurður A. Magnússon (1990:208).
  34. Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson (1992:138).
  35. "Blótað á Draghálsi". DV, June 20, 1983, page 3. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?issId=189406&pageId=2477329&lang=en
  36. Þorri Jóhannsson. "Leiðirnar að guðdómnum eru margar". Lesbók Morgunblaðsins, November 14, 1992, pages 4-5. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=3309806&issId=242568&lang=en
  37. Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson 1992.
  38. Strmiska (2005:166).
  39. "Stungið út úr hlöðunni". Eintak, May 5, 1994, page 14. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=3635950&issId=259425&lang=en
  40. "Hyggst gera ásatrúna sýnilegri almenningi". DV, May 24, 1994, page 6. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=2626657&issId=195406&lang=en
  41. Strmiska (2005:167).
  42. Strmiska (2005:172).
  43. Strmiska (2005:173).
  44. Strmiska (2005:168).
  45. Jónas Þ. Sigurðsson. "Yfirlýsing frá Lögréttu". Morgunblaðið, August 25, 2002, page 16. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=3451577&issId=250831&lang=en
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  49. "Ásatrúarfélagið: Fjölgun goða með vígsluréttindi". Ásatrúarfélagið. RetrievedAugust 24, 2018.
  50. The Icelandic version has "Ásatrú is a pagan tradition based on tolerance, honesty, magnanimity and respect for nature and all life". (Ásatrú eða heiðinn siður byggir á umburðarlyndi, heiðarleika, drengskap og virðingu fyrir náttúrunni og öllu lífi.) (2006)
  51. "Fréttablaðið". Timarit.is. RetrievedJune 26, 2010.
  52. Icelandic, "dálítið ókyrr trú". Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson (1992:182).
  53. Icelandic, "Trú mín byggir á stöðugri leit en ég fer mér samt að engu óðslega við að leita. Það þýðir ekkert að æða út í geiminn til að leita að einhverjum guðum þar, ef þeir vilja hafa eitthvað með mig að gera, þá koma þeir. Ég hef oft orðið var við þá, en æði ekki á eftir þeim eða hrópa á þá. Ég hef kynnst þeim dálítið í sjálfum mér og öðru fólki líka. ... Það eru fyrst og fremst áhrifin frá hinum mikla krafti sem allir finna fyrir sem gera mig trúaðan. ... Það merkilegasta við trúna er að hún gefur okkur vöxt, möguleika til að vaxa og gróa. Og ekki má sleppa auðmýktinni. Án hennar getum við ekki lifað að neinu gagni þótt hún verði náttúrlega að koma í réttan stað niður. En sá sem er alveg sviptur henni, hann er vitfirringur." Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson (1992:183).
  54. Icelandic, "Ég lít svo á að heimurinn sé tvískiptur í eðli sínu, skiptist í uppbyggjandi öfl, æsi, og hin eyðandi öfl sem við köllum jötna. ... Ásatrú eða heiðni er í grundvallaratriðum ekki annað en að gera sér grein fyrir þessari tvískiptingu og skipa sér í lið ása. Það gerir maður best, að mínu viti, með því að vera sjálfum sér samkvæmur, lifa í sátt við náttúruna, umgangast hana með virðingu og hlíta allsherjarreglu. ... Guðirnir móta bústað manna, jörðina og sólkerfið úr því efni sem fyrir er. Að því leyti getum við litið á náttúruöflin sem sjálfa guðina og það gerði fólk til forna að miklu leyti." Lesbók Morgunblaðsins, November 14, 1992, pages 4-5. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=3309806&issId=242568&lang=en
  55. Icelandic, "ásatrúin er algyðistrú. Jörðin, loftið og vatnið hefur mikið gildi fyrir okkur. Við erum hluti af jörðinni en ekki herrar hennar." Sólveig Jónasdóttir, Vera, 1996:4:9.
  56. Icelandic, „Ég trúi á æðri mátt sem birtist okkur í fjölbreytileika náttúrunnar og mannlífsins. Við erum með birtingarform á ákveðnum frumkröftum, sem við höfum gefið guðanöfn og við erum með deildaskiptingu í hlutverkum guðanna. Þetta eru öfl sem eru sýnileg, hálfsýnileg og stundum ósýnileg. Maður getur röflað endalaust fræðilega um hlutverk ákveðinna guða, en þegar allt kemur til alls, þá er þetta spurning um tilfinningu fyrir mismunandi þáttum lífsins.“ Morgunblaðið, January 12, 2003, page B 3. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=3461487&issId=251154&lang=en
  57. Sveinn Guðjónsson. "Það hefur alltaf fylgt kristinni trú þetta ofstæki...". Vísir, August 19, 1978, pages 14-17. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=3376505&issId=248406&lang=en
  58. "Blót". Asatru.is. RetrievedJune 26, 2010.
  59. Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson (1992:134).
  60. Sigurður A. Magnússon (1990:197).
  61. Sv. G. "Vor siður á erindi til allra manna". Lesbók Morgunblaðsins, June 2, 1974, pages 14-16. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=3296272&issId=241718&lang=en
  62. Icelandic, „Nei, og það stafar einfaldlega af því að við nennum því ekki. Það er miklu auðveldara að fá sér bara kjötskrokk, enda gerum við það. Hér áður fyrr var það eðlilegt að slátra skepnunni á staðnum því þá gátu menn ekki geymt kjöt. En við nútíma aðstæður er það hreinn óþarfi og of mikið umstang". Source: http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=3376503&issId=248406&lang=en
  63. "Statement | Ásatrúarfélagið". asatru.is.
  64. EA. "Ég gef þér nafn og nefni þig...". Vísir. November 23, 1973, page 3. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=3251740&issId=238457&lang=en
  65. ARH. "Las úr Eddukvæðum yfir brúðhjónunum". Alþýðublaðið, August 26, 1977. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=3220038
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  69. "Af yfirlýsingum". Vor siður, 2:2005, page 8. Available online at http://www.asatru.is/PFD/Vor_sidur_2.tbl.2005.pdf
  70. "Hof ásatrúarfólks í Leynimýri". Fréttablaðið, November 6, 2006, page 8. Available online at http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?issId=272631&pageId=3922063&lang=en
  71. "Fall meirihlutans frestaði enn Ásatrúarhofi" Vísir, October 28, 2007. Published online at http://www.visir.is/article/20071028/FRETTIR01/71028011/-1/FRETTIR
  72. "Frá lögsögumanni". Vor siður, 1:2008, page 4. Available online at http://www.asatru.is/PFD/VorSidur_1tbl_2008.pdf
  73. Sara McMahon, 'Pagan temple in Öskjuhlíð, Reykjavík, to be completed in 2017', Iceland Magazine (21 March 2016).
  74. "Frá lögsögumanni". Vor siður, 4:2008, page 16. Available online at http://www.asatru.is/PFD/vorsidur_4tbl_2008.pdf
  75. "Frá lögsögumanni". Vor siður, 5:2008, page 4. Available online at http://www.asatru.is/PFD/vor_sidur_5tbl_2008.pdf
  76. http://icelandmag.com/article/construction-a-pagan-temple-begin-reykjavik-next-month
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  79. Magnús Sveinn Helgason, 'Visit the only heathen temple in Iceland in Skagafjörður fjord for a pagan grill party this Saturday' Iceland Magazine (7 August 2015).
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Ásatrúarfélagið
Asatruarfelagid Language Watch Edit Asatru Association redirects here For other Asatru religious organisations see Heathenry new religious movement Asatruarfelagid Icelandic ˈauːsatʰruːarˌfjɛːlaijɪd Asatru Fellowship is an Icelandic religious organisation of heathenry in Iceland also called Asatru as faith It was founded on the First Day of Summer 1972 and granted recognition as a registered religious organization in 1973 allowing it to conduct legally binding ceremonies and collect a share of the church tax The Allsherjargodi is the chief religious official AsatruarfelagidFormation1972TypeHeathenry Icelandic folk religionLocationReykjavikMembership5221 1 32 Official languageIcelandicFounderSveinbjorn BeinteinssonKey peopleHilmar Orn Hilmarsson Johanna G HardardottirWebsitewww wbr asatru wbr is The organization was led by farmer and poet Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson from 1972 until his death in 1993 During most of this period membership did not exceed 100 people and after the initial enthusiasm faded there was little activity The time of the next high priest Jormundur Ingi Hansen 1994 2002 saw considerable growth and activity including the design of an Asatru burial ground These trends have continued under the present high priest musician Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson 2003 and as of January 1 2018 the organization has 4126 registered members about one third of whom are women 1 Since 2002 the number of registered members has grown annually from 8 2006 2007 to 21 2011 2012 2 Asatruarfelagid does not have a fixed religious dogma or theology but the high priests have tended towards a pantheistic worldview The central ritual is the communal blot feast but the priests godar also conduct name giving ceremonies coming of age rituals weddings and funerals The organization has on some occasions taken a stance on political issues including abortion rights gay marriage the separation of church and state and environmental issues The organisation is a founding member of the European Congress of Ethnic Religions Contents 1 History 1 1 Origins 1 2 Recognition 1 3 First allsherjargodi 1972 1993 1 4 Second allsherjargodi 1994 2002 1 5 Third and fourth allsherjargodar 2002 2 Beliefs and theology 3 Blot and other rituals 4 Religious buildings 4 1 Main hof 4 2 Asheimar 5 Politics and activism 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 Bibliography 10 External linksHistory Edit Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson and other members of Asatruarfelagid walk to a blot at THingvellir in the summer of 2009 Origins Edit The idea to found a folk religious organization came about in late winter 1972 in discussions in a cafe in Reykjavik The four men who would become the organization s early leaders and ideologues were Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson a farmer and a traditionalist poet Jormundur Ingi Hansen a jack of all trades and a prominent person in the Reykjavik hippie movement Dagur THorleifsson a journalist and active member of the Reykjavik theosophy lodge and THorsteinn Gudjonsson leader of Felag Nyalssinna an organization devoted to the theories of Helgi Pjeturss 3 4 5 Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson described the founding of Asatruarfelagid as based on a belief in hidden forces in the land and connected to the desire that Icelanders could have their own faith and nourish it no less than imported religions 6 Dagur THorleifsson emphasized that the religion constituted a movement back to nature seeking refuge from the ills of industrial civilization 7 One observer traces the origins of the organization to the countercultural and religious waves of the time as well as to nationalism and the widespread Icelandic interest in spiritism theosophy and elves 8 The Asatru organization was formed on the First Day of Summer 1972 in a meeting at Hotel Borg In a meeting shortly thereafter Sveinbjorn was chosen as chairman and dubbed allsherjargodi 3 Recognition Edit Shortly before Christmas 1972 Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson and THorsteinn Gudjonsson visited olafur Johannesson minister of justice and ecclesiastical affairs and expressed interest in registering Asatruarfelagid as an official religious organization The minister at first believed that the request was a joke but when Sveinbjorn and THorsteinn told him that they were serious he requested additional paperwork According to Sveinbjorn shortly after he and THorsteinn exited the ministry the lights in the center of town went out due to a thunderstorm leaving the minister sitting in the dark 9 The newspaper Visir wrote about this in a jocular tone noting that the representatives of the Asatruarmenn got rather vague answers from the minister and apparently that s what Thor the thunder god thought as well because as the visit was at an end and the minister stood up to follow the guests to the door there was a terrible thunder in the center of Reykjavik causing damage close to the office of the ministry 10 Sigurbjorn Einarsson Bishop of Iceland recommended to the ministry that the organization not be granted recognition In a written opinion later published the bishop pointed out that the Icelandic constitution granted everyone a right to found organizations to serve god 11 12 and that this assumed a monotheistic outlook Sigurbjorn cited the opinion of legal scholar Einar Arnorsson published in 1912 that polytheistic religious organizations founded in Iceland would therefore not be protected by the constitution 12 13 Sigurbjorn further criticized the application for not including the declaration of an individual stating that he would assume the leadership of the organization He criticized the organization for having vague teachings and for not including clear documents on them He also pointed out that the organization had no dedicated house of worship 12 In Sigurbjorn s opinion the most significant effort to revive Germanic folk religion happened in Nazi Germany and was connected to the racial ideology of that regime He pointed out that the present applicants had hitherto considered themselves followers of the Nyall theories of Helgi Pjeturss and that these theories contained the same racial elements as the Nazi ideology 12 note 1 note 2 The bishop expressed concern over the possible moral teachings of an Asatru organization in particular as regarded individualism polygamy and security of person Finally he pointed out that the group applying for recognition was small consisting of 21 individuals 12 Morgunbladid Iceland s biggest daily newspaper declared its agreement with the bishop in an editorial The paper stated that the Christian faith was the basis of Icelandic society and that Christ is enough though he was not enough for Hitler Stalin or their followers 21 In the Asatruers reply to the bishop s criticism they argued that even Christianity had some polytheistic elements and that Asatru could include a belief in a Supreme Being They denied any association with national socialism and argued that it was doubtful that the Third Reich had any genuine Asatruers while it was certain that a number of Christian sects had cooperated with the Nazis 22 Asatruarfelagid was officially recognized as a religious organization by the Icelandic government in May 1973 23 This gives it the legal right to perform marriages and other ceremonies and also entitles it to a share of the church tax in proportion to its number of adult members In the Althing Halldor Blondal and Magnus Jonsson members of the Independence Party requested an explanation for why olafur Johannesson had given legal recognition to Asatruarfelagid The minister defended his decision on the grounds that the constitution granted freedom of association and freedom of religion Magnus Jonsson argued that the constitution applied freedom of religion only to monotheistic religions and that the recognition of an organization practicing polytheism and idol worship was thus an illegal act The minister countered that legal scholars had debated whether the clause applied to polytheism 24 note 3 In 1975 the Althing changed the law in a way that made it more difficult for new religious organizations to gain recognition 26 First allsherjargodi 1972 1993 Edit Number of members in Asatruarfelagid as a function of time On August 5 1973 Asatruarfelagid held the first public outdoor blot plural same as singular in Iceland since public blot were forbidden by law in the year 1000 The event was held at Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson s farm at Draghals in pelting rain below a plaster statue of the god Thor made by Jormundur Ingi Hansen The blot was described by the newspaper Visir as vigorous and energetic 27 while Sigurdur A Magnusson commented that the historic significance of the event had not been matched by the quality of the ceremony It could hardly have been simpler or more pedestrian 28 Asatruarfelagid had received extensive media coverage even in its very early formative stages and by the time of the first public blot that attention extended to foreign media and had become disproportionate to the scale of the event with about as many journalists as participants attending 29 30 31 Early on the organization had ambitious plans for building a temple getting a burial ground and dividing the land into godord led by individual godar a nomenclature borrowed from the political system of the Icelandic Commonwealth 32 However membership in the organization did not increase as quickly as these goals would have necessitated In 1973 Asatruarfelagid had 58 registered members in 1974 it had 70 and in 1976 it had 77 As its leaders realized that the organization s more ambitious goals could not be quickly achieved the society settled down to a low level of activity 32 33 In 1983 a blot had not been held for three years but one was arranged to provide the makers of a documentary with material 34 35 By the mid 80s membership in the organization started to rise every year In 1985 there were 74 members and by 1992 membership had risen to 119 At that point the organization decided that the time had come for increased activity 36 The same year Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson published his autobiography 37 Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson acted as allsherjargodi from 1972 until his death in December 1993 He lived a simple life on a farm without modern luxuries A popular grandfatherly figure he was a little eccentric and shy in his role as a media spokesman 38 He left a lasting impression in people s minds Second allsherjargodi 1994 2002 Edit Jormundur Ingi is sworn in as allsherjargodi in July 1994 In late 1993 Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson died and in 1994 elections were held for a new allsherjargodi The candidates were Jormundur Ingi Hansen and Haukur Halldorsson Jormundur Ingi ran on a platform of continuity while Haukur promised more innovation 39 Jormundur Ingi won with 59 votes against 34 40 While Jormundur was like Sveinbjorn an older man knowledgeable in ancient literature he differed from his predecessor in his greater skill at dealing with the media 41 Jormundur s time as allsherjargodi saw a rapid rise in membership in the organization going from 172 in 1994 to 628 in 2002 Jormundur s time also saw an increase in the percentage of women members going from 13 in 1994 to 21 in 2002 In 1999 the organization achieved one of its oldest goals of having a burial ground of its own The burial ground was designed by Jormundur Ingi and the first burial took place the same year In the summer of 2000 on the occasion of the 1000 year commemoration of the Christianisation of Iceland the Icelandic state and the Church of Iceland organized a celebration at THingvellir Asatruarfelagid had its own annual blot at THingvellir at the same time leading to conflict over the use of facilities with some underlying ideological tensions 42 In the end more than 1000 people participated in Asatruarfelagid s summer event more than in any previous ceremony by the organization 43 In 2000 Asatruarfelagid passed the Buddhist Association of Iceland and the Icelandic Baha i Community to become Iceland s largest non Christian religious organization The growth of the organization brought with it increased complexity and internal disputes 44 Third and fourth allsherjargodar 2002 Edit Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson fourth allsherjargodi at a ceremony in June 2009 In 2002 the board of directors sacked Jormundur and installed Jonina Kristin Berg born 1962 as temporary allsherjargodi 45 In 2003 musician Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson born 1958 was chosen as allsherjargodi As of 2018 he remains in office The demographic trends of previous years have continued The number of members went from 628 in 2002 to 4126 in 2018 from 0 20 to 1 18 of the population of Iceland while the percentage of women has gone from 21 in 2002 to 33 in 2018 46 Year Members Growth2002 570 11 2003 636 12 2004 787 24 2005 879 12 2006 960 9 2007 1040 8 2008 1154 11 2009 1275 10 2010 1402 10 2011 1700 21 2012 1951 15 2013 2148 10 2014 2382 11 2015 2675 12 2016 3187 19 2017 3583 12 2018 4186 17 2019 4473 7 2020 4723 6 In 2006 the Ministry of Justice increased the number of Asatru priests allowed to conduct legally binding ceremonies icelandic vigslurettindi from two the allsherjargodi and his substitute to five 47 Two of those five priests are women 48 As of 2018 there are 10 priests who are officially allowed by the government to conduct legally binding ceremonies 49 Beliefs and theology Edit The Asatru graveyard in Reykjavik The website of Asatruarfelagid as of 2009 defines Asatru as belief in the Icelandic Nordic folklore the spirits and entities the folklore represents in addition to gods and other beings from the Nordic pantheism 50 From the beginning Asatruarfelagid has not had any fixed religious dogma or theology Individual members have various beliefs there are for example a number of Wiccan members 51 Though members are not expected to follow the lead of any religious authority all the high priests have publicly expressed their personal beliefs at one point or another Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson summarized his religious convictions in his autobiography saying that he had not a simple religious conviction but a somewhat unquiet faith 52 My faith is based on a constant search but I don t search frantically It s no use to rush out into space to search for some gods there if they want to have anything to do with me they will come I have often become aware of them but I don t rush after them or shout at them I have gotten to know them a bit in myself and also in other people Primarily it is the effects of the great force felt by everyone that make me religious The most remarkable thing about faith is that it gives us growth the possibility to grow and thrive And humility cannot be neglected Without it we cannot live to any useful degree though of course it has its particular place But a man who is completely without it is a madman 53 In a 1992 interview Jormundur Ingi Hansen expressed his views on various theological subjects including the nature of the gods and the basis of his Asatru beliefs From my perspective the world is split into two in its nature divided into constructive forces the aesir and the destructive forces which we call jotnar Asatru or heathenry is basically only to realize this dichotomy and to decide to side with the aesir The best way to do that in my opinion is to be self consistent live in harmony with nature associate with it with respect and to submit to the public order The gods shape the dwelling places of people the earth and the solar system out of the material that already exists To that extent we can look on the forces of nature as the gods themselves and to a large extent that is what people did in antiquity 54 In a 1996 interview Jonina K Berg said Asatru is a pantheistic belief The earth the air and the water has great value to us We are a part of the earth and not its masters 55 In a 2003 interview Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson summarized his faith I believe in a higher power which appears to us in the multiplicity of nature and of human life We have manifestations of certain primal forces which we regard as gods and we have a division in the roles of the gods These are powers that are visible half visible and sometimes invisible One could have a long scholarly discussion on the role of individual gods but in the end this is a question of a feeling for the different aspects of life 56 Monotheism is one truth for the masses but polytheism is many truths for the individual Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson interviewed in 2010Blot and other rituals Edit Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson at a blot in 1991 The central ritual performed by Asatruarfelagid is the communal blot feast A blot starts with a godi hallowing the ceremony with a certain formula and declaring a truce between all present This is followed by the reciting or chanting of verses from the Poetic Edda Next a drinking horn is passed around and participants drink to the gods the wights and the ancestors Libations are offered This initial part of the ceremony often conducted outdoors is followed by a communal feast typically indoors The feast is often accompanied by musical performances or other forms of entertainment 57 58 59 In the early days of the movement the founders were asked whether they conducted ritual slaughter of animals during blot The general response was that while this would not be morally problematic it was not practical 60 61 Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson commented No for the simple reason that we can t be bothered It s far easier to just get a carcass so that s what we do In earlier times it was normal to slaughter the animal in place because people couldn t store meat But in modern circumstances it s completely unnecessary and too much trouble 62 Nevertheless during the first public blot a sympathizing visual artist brought along a live cock and had it beheaded in the kitchen while the lamb was being cooked 60 Asatruarfelagid has since stated that it rejects the use of Asatru as a justification for animal sacrifice as well as for militarism and supremacy ideology 63 The four main blot are Jolablot Yule blot on the winter solstice Sigurblot Victory blot on the First Day of Summer Sumarblot Summer blot on the summer solstice and Veturnattablot Winter Nights blot on the First Day of Winter The organization also holds THorrablot and individual godar hold local blot on various occasions 58 Other rituals include name giving ceremonies sidfesta a coming of age ritual weddings and burials The first Asatru name giving ceremony took place in November 1973 64 Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson performed the first Asatru wedding ceremony in August 1977 marrying Dagur THorleifsson and Ingibjorg Hjartardottir 59 65 Since 1999 the organization has its own burial ground and several burials have taken place 66 As a part of the Jolablot children light candles to celebrate the rebirth of the sun 67 The organization has intermittently run a Sunday school and a youth group 68 Religious buildings EditMain hof Edit Main article Hof Asatruarfelagsins Veturnattablot 2009 on the site where the temple was to be built In 2005 a decision was made to sell the organization s property The property had increased substantially in value since it was bought in 1998 The profit from the sale made building a temple referred to by the organisation in Icelandic as a hof a realistic option 69 and an application for a plot of land was sent to the Reykjavik city council Processing of the application took longer than the organization had hoped for due to political instability in Reykjavik 70 71 In January 2008 a plot of land was finally granted in Oskjuhlid a wooded hill in Reykjavik 72 The temple will be built into the surrounding cliffs and overlooks the beautiful Nautholsvik beach Its design is timeless being neither contemporary nor reminiscent of the Viking era 73 Asatruarfelagid commissioned five architects to present proposals for a temple building Those were ready in September 2008 74 The organization lost a substantial amount of money in the collapse of the Icelandic banks in October 2008 but proceeded with study of different options for a temple building 75 The architect Magnus Jensson was chosen it was announced in February 2015 that the temple construction would start in early 2015 76 and in 2016 that the temple would be completed in 2017 73 However technical problems led to a temporary halt in 2017 and at that time completion was not expected until 2018 77 78 Asheimar Edit Arni Sverrisson a member of Asatruarfelagid built a hof at his farm Efri As in Skagafjordur from 2010 to 2014 The project started as a small building which eventually grew to 80 square meters The building was constructed with stone and turf walls a wooden framework and a turf covered roof It was named Asheimar and consecrated by the godi Johanna Hardardottir in 2014 79 Politics and activism EditIn June 1974 Asatruarfelagid issued a press release opposing the legalization of abortion and recommending strict punishment for distributors of narcotics 80 81 In April 1975 there was another press release opposing abortion this time noting that the battle for legalization of abortion could be traced to international movements opposed to the Nordic nations and in particular to the Nordic race 82 83 A few days later Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson stated that this latter press release did not have its origins in any legal meeting of Asatruarfelagid and only represented the private opinions of its author 84 In the following years Asatruarfelagid mostly did not involve itself in political questions though individual members did Having been unable to advance his racial ideology within Asatruarfelagid THorsteinn Gudjonsson in 1982 founded a separate organization Norraent mannkyn Nordic Race to lobby for the reduction of immigration and banning of abortion 85 86 Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson was active in the peace movement erecting a nidstong against nuclear power in 1985 87 Summarizing her 1991 study of Germanic folk religion literary scholar Stefanie von Schnurbein describes Asatruarfelagid as a mix of individualistic anarchists atheistic church opponents and racist spiritualists 88 In a 2001 study of Asatru in Iceland anthropologist Maria Erlendsdottir disagreed pointing out that von Schnurbein s field research included only two interviews with members of the organization and arguing that this was not enough to give sound grounds to her accusations 89 She further argued that the heavy accusations of Von Schnurbein contradict certain clues that Asatruarfelagid has an open mind to people of other cultures and races 90 and concluded that Icelandic paganism in contemporary society has strong roots within folk belief and literary tradition 91 In a 2000 study of Asatruarfelagid religious studies scholar Michael Strmiska noted that Asatru movements in America and Scandinavia have been known to espouse racist and Neo Nazi ideology but that he was not aware of any member of Icelandic Asatru espousing such sentiments or ideology 92 Since early on environmentalism has been important to members of Asatruarfelagid 93 and the organization has been active in environmentalist causes In October 2003 Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson erected a nidstong against the Karahnjukar Hydropower Plant 94 Johanna G Hardardottir a godi wrote on the occasion We have come to call upon gods and good wights We intend to ask for mercy for our land and we intend to erect a nidstong to those who dishonor their mother the earth 95 Since 2007 Asatruarfelagid participates in forest reclamation in Heidmork with the Icelandic Forestry Association 96 The organization has fought for the right to marry gay couples 97 98 Asatruarfelagid has fought for the separation of church and state 99 and for a share in a fund currently only accessible to the National Church The Church supports the latter effort 100 Asatruarfelagid cooperates on issues of common concern with other Icelandic religious organizations 101 in particular the Reykjavik Free Church 99 102 In 2003 Sigurjon THordarson an active member of Asatruarfelagid and a godi was elected to the Althing for the Liberal Party When asked if his faith shaped the way he approached laws and the structure of government he replied I m in favour of separating faith and law but I do think that faith marks the individual 103 In August 2014 Asatruarfelagid issued a statement against the abuse of their name and their religion We strongly oppose any attempt by individuals to use their association with the Asatruarfelag of Iceland to promote attitudes ideologies and practices rejected by the leadership of the Asatruarfelag We particularly reject the use of Asatru as a justification for supremacy ideology militarism and animal sacrifice It should also be known that visitors have no authority to speak on our behalf There is no advisor to the Asatruarfelag and there is no spokesman other than our allsherjargodi We respectfully request that visitors not claim any such authority based on their association with us 63 See also EditAsatru holidays Huldufolk Norse paganism Religion in IcelandNotes Edit In his youth the bishop was himself a Nyall follower and in his own words wholeheartedly pagan 14 A number of Asatruarfelagid s founders participated in Nyall activities 15 16 though not all of them did so Conversely not all Nyall followers joined Asatruarfelagid 17 Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson says in his autobiography My brother Petur read about the theories of Helgi Pjeturss and was fascinated by them Then I started studying them as well and I found them remarkable What appealed to me especially was his theory about life on other stars or planets which replaced the old idea of Heaven everything was more understandable and more material in what he said Helgi also had remarkable theories about dreams he thought they occurred because of influence from other people even from other stars This influenced me 18 THorsteinn Gudjonsson was a devoted Nyall participant both before and after the founding of Asatruarfelagid In the late 80s he published an English language journal Huginn amp Muninn dedicated to Nyall theories paganism and racial ideology 19 Jormundur Ingi Hansen participated in some Nyall seances In a 2008 interview he said he did not feel he got any real information from the proceedings and that he was not at all convinced that the information that comes forward at meetings like this is actually from deceased individuals 20 Years earlier olafur Johannesson had himself argued that the clause applied to polytheism 25 References Edit Populations by religious and life stance organizations 1998 2019 Statistics Iceland Asatruarfelagid Felagafjoldi Asatruarfelagid Retrieved August 24 2018 a b Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson 1992 132 Petur Petursson 1985 21 22 Sigurdur A Magnusson 1990 198 Icelandic Hugmyndin ad Asatruarfelaginu byggdist a tru a dulin ofl i landinu i tengslum vid mannfolkid sem skynjadi ekki thessa hluti til fulls nema einstoku menn THad tengdist sidan thjodlegum metnadi og longun til ad Islendingar aettu sina tru og raektu hana ekki sidur en innflutt truarbrogd Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson 1992 140 Sigurdur A Magnusson 1990 198 9 Petur Petursson 1985 3 4 Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson 1992 133 Heldur fengu fulltruar Asatruarmanna lodin svor hja radherra og thad hefur thrumugudnum THor vist lika fundizt thvi thegar erindinu var lokid radherra buinn ad standa upp ur saeti sinu og fylgja gestunum til dyra datt ein hin ferlegasta thruma nidur i midborg Reykjavikur og olli skemmdum ekki alllangt fra raduneytisskrifstofunni JBP Visir January 2 1973 Page 3 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3246644 amp issId 238186 amp lang en Icelandic stofna felog til ad thjona gudi a b c d e Sigurbjorn Einarsson Um asatru Morgunbladid December 13 1973 page 12 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 1449074 amp issId 115755 amp lang en The opinion is dated to January 2 1973 and was originally presented to the ministry of justice and ecclesiastical affairs Icelandic Fleirgydistrufelog stofnud her a landi mundu thvi ekki njota verndar samkvaemt stjskr Icelandic heidinn af lifi og sal Sigurbjorn Einarsson Mer er kunnugt um mann Jatningar Hladbud 1948 Page 147 Anderson Robert The Ghosts of Iceland Wadsworth 2005 ISBN 0 534 61052 8 Pages 68 69 von Schnurbein 1991 181 Haukur Matthiasson Asatruarmenn biskup og dr Helgi Peturss Morgunbladid December 19 1973 page 10 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp issId 115763 amp pageId 1449356 amp lang en Icelandic Petur brodir las ser til um kenningar Helga Pjeturss og hreifst mjog af theim THa for eg ad kynna mer thaer lika og fannst thaer merkilegar Einkum hofdadi til min kenning hans um lifid a odrum stjornum eda hnottum sem kom i stadinn fyrir gomlu hugmyndina um himnariki thad vard allt skiljanlegra og efnislegra hja honum Helgi var lika med merkilegar kenningar um drauma hann taldi ad their yrdu fyrir ahrif fra odrum monnum jafnvel odrum stjornum THetta hafdi ahrif a mig Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson 1992 38 von Schnurbein 1991 186 Icelandic mer fannst ekki ad eg fengi neinar raunverulegar upplysingar ut ur thvi sem thar atti ser stad Eg er alls ekki sannfaerdur um ad thaer upplysingar sem koma fram a svona fundum seu i raun fra latnum einstaklingum Tru og lifsyn godans Morgunbladid August 24 2008 page 29 Kristin tru Morgunbladid December 22 1973 page 18 Available online at http new timarit is view page init jsp pageId 1449516 amp issId 115767 amp lang en Petur Petursson 1985 11 Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson 1992 133 34 141 Fyrirspurnartimi Morgunbladid November 27 1973 Page 14 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 1448476 amp issId 115737 amp lang en olafur Johannesson Stjornskipun Islands Hladbud 1960 Page 429 Petur Petursson 1985 28 Icelandic for fram med tilthrifum og atorku Reiddust godin Visir August 7 1973 Page 1 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3249986 amp issId 238363 amp lang en Sigurdur A Magnusson 1990 194 THS Blotudu THor i urhellisrigningu Visir August 7 1973 page 2 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3249987 amp issId 238363 amp lang en Petur Petursson 1985 passim Sigurdur A Magnusson 1990 193 a b Petur Petursson 1985 18 Sigurdur A Magnusson 1990 208 Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson 1992 138 Blotad a Draghalsi DV June 20 1983 page 3 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp issId 189406 amp pageId 2477329 amp lang en THorri Johannsson Leidirnar ad guddomnum eru margar Lesbok Morgunbladsins November 14 1992 pages 4 5 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3309806 amp issId 242568 amp lang en Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson 1992 Strmiska 2005 166 Stungid ut ur hlodunni Eintak May 5 1994 page 14 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3635950 amp issId 259425 amp lang en Hyggst gera asatruna synilegri almenningi DV May 24 1994 page 6 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 2626657 amp issId 195406 amp lang en Strmiska 2005 167 Strmiska 2005 172 Strmiska 2005 173 Strmiska 2005 168 Jonas TH Sigurdsson Yfirlysing fra Logrettu Morgunbladid August 25 2002 page 16 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3451577 amp issId 250831 amp lang en 1 Statistics Iceland Increase in pagan priests in Iceland Iceland Review October 10 2006 Retrieved July 5 2009 Asatruarfelagid Fjolgun goda med vigslurettindi Asatruarfelagid October 8 2006 Retrieved July 5 2009 Asatruarfelagid Fjolgun goda med vigslurettindi Asatruarfelagid Retrieved August 24 2018 The Icelandic version has Asatru is a pagan tradition based on tolerance honesty magnanimity and respect for nature and all life Asatru eda heidinn sidur byggir a umburdarlyndi heidarleika drengskap og virdingu fyrir natturunni og ollu lifi 2006 Frettabladid Timarit is Retrieved June 26 2010 Icelandic dalitid okyrr tru Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson 1992 182 Icelandic Tru min byggir a stodugri leit en eg fer mer samt ad engu odslega vid ad leita THad thydir ekkert ad aeda ut i geiminn til ad leita ad einhverjum gudum thar ef their vilja hafa eitthvad med mig ad gera tha koma their Eg hef oft ordid var vid tha en aedi ekki a eftir theim eda hropa a tha Eg hef kynnst theim dalitid i sjalfum mer og odru folki lika THad eru fyrst og fremst ahrifin fra hinum mikla krafti sem allir finna fyrir sem gera mig truadan THad merkilegasta vid truna er ad hun gefur okkur voxt moguleika til ad vaxa og groa Og ekki ma sleppa audmyktinni An hennar getum vid ekki lifad ad neinu gagni thott hun verdi natturlega ad koma i rettan stad nidur En sa sem er alveg sviptur henni hann er vitfirringur Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson 1992 183 Icelandic Eg lit svo a ad heimurinn se tviskiptur i edli sinu skiptist i uppbyggjandi ofl aesi og hin eydandi ofl sem vid kollum jotna Asatru eda heidni er i grundvallaratridum ekki annad en ad gera ser grein fyrir thessari tviskiptingu og skipa ser i lid asa THad gerir madur best ad minu viti med thvi ad vera sjalfum ser samkvaemur lifa i satt vid natturuna umgangast hana med virdingu og hlita allsherjarreglu Gudirnir mota bustad manna jordina og solkerfid ur thvi efni sem fyrir er Ad thvi leyti getum vid litid a natturuoflin sem sjalfa gudina og thad gerdi folk til forna ad miklu leyti Lesbok Morgunbladsins November 14 1992 pages 4 5 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3309806 amp issId 242568 amp lang en Icelandic asatruin er algydistru Jordin loftid og vatnid hefur mikid gildi fyrir okkur Vid erum hluti af jordinni en ekki herrar hennar Solveig Jonasdottir Vera 1996 4 9 Icelandic Eg trui a aedri matt sem birtist okkur i fjolbreytileika natturunnar og mannlifsins Vid erum med birtingarform a akvednum frumkroftum sem vid hofum gefid gudanofn og vid erum med deildaskiptingu i hlutverkum gudanna THetta eru ofl sem eru synileg halfsynileg og stundum osynileg Madur getur roflad endalaust fraedilega um hlutverk akvedinna guda en thegar allt kemur til alls tha er thetta spurning um tilfinningu fyrir mismunandi thattum lifsins Morgunbladid January 12 2003 page B 3 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3461487 amp issId 251154 amp lang en Sveinn Gudjonsson THad hefur alltaf fylgt kristinni tru thetta ofstaeki Visir August 19 1978 pages 14 17 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3376505 amp issId 248406 amp lang en a b Blot Asatru is Retrieved June 26 2010 a b Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson 1992 134 a b Sigurdur A Magnusson 1990 197 Sv G Vor sidur a erindi til allra manna Lesbok Morgunbladsins June 2 1974 pages 14 16 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3296272 amp issId 241718 amp lang en Icelandic Nei og thad stafar einfaldlega af thvi ad vid nennum thvi ekki THad er miklu audveldara ad fa ser bara kjotskrokk enda gerum vid thad Her adur fyrr var thad edlilegt ad slatra skepnunni a stadnum thvi tha gatu menn ekki geymt kjot En vid nutima adstaedur er thad hreinn otharfi og of mikid umstang Source http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3376503 amp issId 248406 amp lang en a b Statement Asatruarfelagid asatru is EA Eg gef ther nafn og nefni thig Visir November 23 1973 page 3 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3251740 amp issId 238457 amp lang en ARH Las ur Eddukvaedum yfir brudhjonunum Althydubladid August 26 1977 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3220038 Athafnir Asatru is Retrieved June 26 2010 Vor sidur 2007 Vor sidur 2006 PDF Retrieved June 26 2010 Starfsemi Asatru is Retrieved June 26 2010 Af yfirlysingum Vor sidur 2 2005 page 8 Available online at http www asatru is PFD Vor sidur 2 tbl 2005 pdf Hof asatruarfolks i Leynimyri Frettabladid November 6 2006 page 8 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp issId 272631 amp pageId 3922063 amp lang en Fall meirihlutans frestadi enn Asatruarhofi Visir October 28 2007 Published online at http www visir is article 20071028 FRETTIR01 71028011 1 FRETTIR Fra logsogumanni Vor sidur 1 2008 page 4 Available online at http www asatru is PFD VorSidur 1tbl 2008 pdf a b Sara McMahon Pagan temple in Oskjuhlid Reykjavik to be completed in 2017 Iceland Magazine 21 March 2016 Fra logsogumanni Vor sidur 4 2008 page 16 Available online at http www asatru is PFD vorsidur 4tbl 2008 pdf Fra logsogumanni Vor sidur 5 2008 page 4 Available online at http www asatru is PFD vor sidur 5tbl 2008 pdf http icelandmag com article construction a pagan temple begin reykjavik next month Enormous increase in Pagan Asatru religion in Iceland Iceland Monitor 28 March 2017 Construction halted at Iceland s pagan temple Iceland Monitor 15 July 2017 Magnus Sveinn Helgason Visit the only heathen temple in Iceland in Skagafjordur fjord for a pagan grill party this Saturday Iceland Magazine 7 August 2015 Fostureydingar eru manndrap Adgerdir tharf i fikniefnamalum Morgunbladid June 6 1974 page 2 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 1452992 amp issId 115874 amp lang en THJM Asatruarfelagid varar vid thvi ad manndrap verdi loggleidd Visir June 10 1974 page 3 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3254456 amp issId 238605 amp lang en Icelandic runnin undan rifjum althjodlegra hreyfinga sem beinast gegn Nordurlandathjodum og norraenu kyni serstaklega J on B irgir P etursson Sjukrahus eda utrymingarstodvar Visir April 21 1975 page 3 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3261832 amp issId 239048 amp lang en Jafnast fostureydingar a vid utburd Althydubladid April 24 1975 page 2 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3211970 amp issId 235382 amp lang en Ekki a vegum asatruarmanna Visir April 25 1975 page 8 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3261893 amp issId 239051 amp lang en KTH THad vaeri skadi fyrir mannkynid ef norraenn stofn lidi undir lok DV Helgarblad II September 4 1982 pages 12 13 Petur Petursson 1985 27 Fridarbudir i minningu helsprengjunnar Althydubladid August 1 1985 page 2 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3338229 amp issId 245506 amp lang en Norwegian blanding av individualistiske anarkister ateistiske kirkefiender og rasistiske spiritister von Schnurbein Stefanie Fornyet Naturreligion eller rasistisk kult Moderne asatro grupper i Tyskland og Norden Chaos Dansk Norsk tidsskrift for religionhistoriske studier 1994 22 pp 117 130 Page 120 See also von Schnurbein 1991 181 Maria Erlendsdottir 2001 27 Maria Erlendsdottir 2001 28 Maria Erlendsdottir 2001 43 Strmiska 2000 117 Petur Petursson 1985 Island in Religios forandring i Norden 1930 1980 Pp 111 153 Page 147 Stefan Palsson Trufelog og politik Murinn October 10 2003 http www murinn is eldra b asp nr 298 amp gerd Gler amp arg 4 Icelandic Vid erum hingad komin til ad akalla god og goda vaetti Vid aetlum ad bidja landinu okkar grida og vid aetlum ad reisa theim nidstong sem svivirda modur sina jordina Johanna G Hardardottir Karahnjukar kvaddir Morgunbladid October 26 2003 page 30 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3482457 amp issId 251776 amp lang en Heidmork Asatru is Retrieved June 26 2010 Stefan Palsson Skommum Althingi ekki biskupinn Murinn June 28 2004 http murinn is eldra b asp nr 1287 amp gerd Frettir amp arg 5 Breytingunum ber ad fagna 24 stundir June 27 2008 page 6 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3631836 amp issId 259224 amp lang en a b Asatruarmenn stydja Frikirkjuna Frettabladid March 13 2003 page 6 Available online at http timarit is view page init jsp pageId 3700759 amp issId 263588 amp lang en Asatruarfelagid og jofnunarsjodur THjodkirkjan Kirkjan is Retrieved June 26 2010 THrettan trufelog stofna Samradsvettvang trufelaga mbl is Retrieved June 26 2010 Vor sidur 2006 PDF Retrieved June 26 2010 Fontaine Nikolov Paul The Pagan MP The Reykjavik Grapevine Available online at www grapevine is Features ReadArticle The Pagan MP Bibliography EditMaria Erlendsdottir Pagan Beliefs in Modern Iceland University of Edinburgh 2001 Petur Petursson Asasamfundet pa Island och massmedia Religionssociologiska institutet 1985 ISSN 0347 8653 von Schnurbein Stefanie Religion als Kulturkritik Neugermanisches Heidentum im 20 Jahrhundert Winter 1992 ISBN 3 533 04582 X Sigurdur A Magnusson The Icelanders Forskot 1990 ISBN 9979 9000 0 8 Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson and Berglind Gunnarsdottir Allsherjargodinn Horpuutgafan 1992 ISBN 9979 50 025 5External links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Asatruarfelagid Asatruarfelagid Official webpage Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Asatruarfelagid amp oldid 1052495667, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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