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                                      Rathulvf Jamieson
           |     Asatru is a term virtually unknown outside pagan circles.  It's
           | the pagans who have no idea  what Asatru is that believe that it has
           | any connection with the Nazis.  Maybe you need to  explain in more |
           detail what Asatru is??  I'd be interested in that myself.
              Greetings, Adrienne.  I know that Grendel will answer this, however
           maybe  a  literal translation  won't hurt  either.  Simply put  from a
           historical view, Asatru is a combination of two words:
                   Ase, pl. Ases [pron. `ace']: The gods and goddesses of
                           consciousnessintheTeutonicpantheon, governingthepowers
                   of sovereignty and physical force (ON Ass; AEsir).
                   troth: Religion, being loyal to the gods, goddesses and       
                   cultural values of the ancestors (ON tru, OE treowth).
                           true: Adjectiveform of"troth," canmean "loyal."A "true
                   man" is a man loyal to the gods and goddesses of his          
                 The word is a compound of asa-, "of the gods (aesir)," and -tru,
           usually  translated as  "faith." But this  can be misleading.   Tru is
           derived from the same root (deru-) that gave rise to "troth," "truth,"
           "trust," and "true"  in English.  The root word  "deru-" really has to
           do with  something firm, solid, and steadfast.  The fact that the word
           "tree" also comes from this word is significant as well.  Therefore it
           is clear that  originally the term had more of  the connotatins of our
           "true" (loyal), "trusting," and "troth"  than with the connotations of
           "faith" or "belief."
              Belief is the acceptance through an external authority that a given
           thing is true, and perhaps that some form of "salvation" is  dependent
           on  this belief.  Troth  is based on experience.   One trusts that the
           sun will come up  tomorrow because this recurring phenomenon  has been
           experienced in the past.  The things that one is  commanded to believe
           in Christianity,
           Judaism, Islam, Marxism, etc., are precisely those things one cannont
           experience,  or  those things  known only  to pastors,  popes, rabbis,
           commissars, etc. "To  trust" therefore is to gain  personal experience
           of the
           truth of  a thing.   The term  asatru therefore  most literally  means
           "gaining experience of the ancestral sovereign gods."
           Thorsson, Edred. "A Book of Troth." St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1989
                 This  is what I  based my  belief on,  even before  I discovered
           Thorsson's books.  I just didn't know the "historical" meaning  of the
           word.   I did, however,  know the  beauty of Asatru  (the Troth)  even
           though it was  twisted by others.   I hung in there, and  enjoy one of
           the greater "freedoms of religion" today because of it.
                                     Urdhr, Verdhandi, Skuld!
                               So is was, so it is, so it shall be!
                                           - Rathulvf -
           This  article is excerpted from the Rocky Mountain Pagan Journal. Each
           issue of the Rocky Mountain Pagan Journal is published  by High Plains
           Arts and Sciences; P.O.  Box 620604, Littleton Co., 80123,  a Colorado
           Non-Profit  Corporation,  under  a  Public  Domain  Copyright,   which
           entitles any  person or  group of  persons to  reproduce, in any  form
           whatsoever, any  material contained  therein  without restriction,  so
           long as articles are not condensed or abbreviated  in any fashion, and
           credit is given the original author.! 
                                         THE FORTUNE 
                                      by Richard Myers 
           I've   seen  them  before  at  carnivals  and  flea  markets  --  dark
           complexion, colorful  scarves around their heads,  crow's marks around
           the eyes, often a babe balanced on the hip.   They're harmless enough,
           and  I'd  never before  paid them  any  mind.   Oh  sure, storekeepers
           complain about petty  thievery, and  a farmer may  lose an  occasional
           chicken.  But  I'm no easy mark for Gypsy women.  They leave me alone.
           So  it was  strange when  I saw  two of  them near  the pawn  shops on
           Larimer  Street;  and  the older  woman  said,  "There's  a man  on  a
           dangerous journey."   
           I pointed to a newly purchased camp stove under my arm.  "Good guess,"
           I said.  "Into the wilderness.  So what else?" She stretched forth her
           hand.  "For three coins in the palm I shall tell what else." 
           I dug out three quarters and, wishing they'd been dimes, dropped 
           them into her hand. 
           "I see a difficult journey to a remote place where few travel."  
           "Wilderness," I repeated with an edge to my voice.  "What else?"  
           "A high place.  Very cold." 
           "Winter in Colorado.  Another guess.  Tell me what I don't know." 
           She dropped the coins into a pocket in  her ragged old coat and turned
           away.  As she rounded  the corner she paused.  "I see death", she said
           quietly.  She was gone. 
           An  empty feeling  in  my belly  turned suddenly  to  laughter when  I
           realized that me and Chester were counting on a little death this very
           weekend.  We were after high-country Wapiti, the majestic Colorado elk
           that  roam the flat-tops.  With any luck we'd put death to a couple of
           'em before sundown....... 
           I saved the  question til we'd packed  the gear to a  high meadow just
           below Retribution  Peak.   I didn't  want to seem  too anxious  for an
           answer.  "Chester, you believe in fortune tellin'?" 
           Chester kept right on settin' up the tent as he chuckled, "That what's
           got you so quiet?   You ain't said a word all the way up the mountain.
           Someone musta told you a bad one." 
           "Gypsy woman said something about dying in the wilderness." 
           Chester fell silent for the briefest moment before he answered, "Hell,
           you ain't dead  yet, so  start drivin' stakes!"   "Chester, you  don't
           believe in  nothin'" I  laughed, "In  any case,  I'm sleepin'  with my
           rifle to-night." 
           By Saturday afternoon we'd scouted Three-Elk meadow without seeing any
           sign, so we climbed the high ridges above the beaver ponds to scan the
           area.   It was almost dusk when we headed back through Medicine Spring
           a ceremonial ground where the Cheyenne once danced the ceremony of the
           sacred arrow.  The Cheyenne  were long gone, but in our sights  were a
           pair  of the biggest,  proudest Wapiti we'd  ever seen.   The bull had
           already picked up the swish of our snow shoes when we topped the rise,
           but Chester brought down  the cow with a single shot.  Grandpa Elk got
           away, but we had all day tomorrow to track him down. 
           You might not  think a Gypsy woman  can see the future;  and you might
           not expect an elk to seek revenge for a lost mate; and I admit that in
           the  dark  of the  tent  I  never really  saw  the  instrument of  our
           destruction.  But we awakened to a bellowing like a steam train and we
           fired our rifles in every direction before the tent finally collapsed.
           I didn't dare move until the morning light showed  Chester's skull was
           cracked, and a  Gypsy woman's words were ringing in  my ears.  ...from
           RMPJ 12/86 

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