I had someone ask the other day why I said I was Norse. I tried to explain it is both a religion, actually Asatru, and a geographical region. I could have said I was pagan and Icelandic, and French, and Irish, and Scottish, but Norse was, I thought, easier. They never got it and walked away.
I thought about that for a while. The Christians are at the moment, and in their mind, the dominant religion. They make movies about their Gods and everyone treats them as though they are gospel; that’s a joke by the way. When someone makes a movie of our Gods they are cartoons or fantasy or they’re a History Channel series. Sad but that’s the way the world seems to be: revel in a God that will rape a virgin and then doom the child to die on a cross and demonize a God that will sacrifice his eye for knowledge.
Being Norse is not wearing a Thor’s Hammer and calling to Odin as though you are best buds. It’s knowing how Tir lost his hand. Why Mistletoe is our most hated and misunderstood of all the plants. It’s thinking about the God of Thunder in a dress and knowing why, or how Slepnir came to be born and what the Fenrir will do at Ragnarok.
I’m Norse. I pray to Freja and hope someday if I live well and die with honour that I will spend time in her hall, drinking, fighting, and preparing for the final battle. I wear Mjolner as a symbol of my religion and my beliefs, not because they are chic and in style. And I practice the ways of the Old Ones in tunics and aprons and armour.
Whatever religion and God you follow then do it with conviction. Don’t pick and choose the parts that you like and ignore the rest. If your Gods are as stern as mine then your hypocrisy and hubris will get you nowhere. In our religion Hel is waiting for those that are without honor or decency. She is a fair Goddess but not one you wish to visit. But then again I’m Norse so I understand. You may not be so lucky.