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Germanic Belief : Kneeling in Worship

By jameybmartin

There is a popular (though by no means universal) notion in the Asatru community that kneeling, even in worship of our native divinities, is a sign of weakness, cowardice, subservience, unmanliness, and so for all intents and purposes the kind of action that would make one a nithing (one beneath contempt; THE insult in the elder era). It’s a strange phenomenon of course. Especially when such condemnations are preceded, or followed, by talk about how we Heathens “honour our noble ancestors”.

Now, I do of course get how a person can fall into believing this. And I’m not talking about the “Christians in recovery” that so often seem to define what might be dubbed “pop-Heathenry”. No. I’m talking about the wide-eyed newcomer, entirely unprejudiced, who is starving for knowledge of his ancestral ways, and perhaps for a little “companionship in belief”, as I myself was back in the day. Thus, if this is what people presumably more knowledgeable than us have to say, then this is what we are willing to believe. It’s only natural.

And hey, in my own defense, when you’re not even out of your teens yet, as a young male, the notion of standing proudly before your gods and refusing to kneel before anyone or anything does sound bad-ass. Par for the course at that age, really. And it fits right in with everything you’ve learned from Robert E. Howard’s Conan novels too boot!

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