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The Real Asatru

Interview by Valerie Reiss

This summer a prisoner in Virginia, Michael Lenz, was executed for murdering a fellow inmate in the name of Asatru, his adopted religion. Though most adherents of the pre-Christian, earth- and heritage-based faith are honorable, law-abiding citizens who don’t advocate random violence, a small (about five percent) but media-magnetic group of them are white supremacists, many of them prisoners. Asatruar worship a pantheon of Norse gods like Odin and Thor and goddesses like Freya and Idun. The warrior archetype is honored, but in no way defines the religion, says Stephen McNallen, 57, founder of the Asatru Folk Assembly, a leading Asatru group. McNallen recently set the Asatru record straight, speaking to Beliefnet from his California home about respecting our ancestors, balancing the warrior with the Mother, and how he starts everyday with a pot of tea and a well-fed cat in his lap. What does “Asatru” mean? I usually say that Asatru means, “Those true to the gods” or “The belief in the gods.”

Read the original article at: Beliefnet

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