For some time pagans following the Northern Tradition in certain parts of the world have suffered due to the unwanted attentions of the extreme right (something we at Patrick Arundell Astrology would never condone). However, in Iceland this has seldom been an issue and as a result followers of the Norse gods are much more accepted. This has led to plans to build the first Heathen temple or Hof in a Nordic country in almost 1,000 years. The Hof which will be situated outside Reykjavik will be used for ritual feasts, marriages and naming ceremonies and funerals.
Heathenism is perhaps one of the less well known neo-pagan religions, and most people, if they have heard of it at all, will associate it with the runes which are a sacred alphabet used in divination and spells. Heathens follow the ancient northern gods such as Odin, Thor and Freyja. Whilst anyone can become a Heathen, the religion does not seek to convert people. Most Heathens do not ‘pray’ although they may ask the gods for their help. On such occasions the gods are approached as friends, indeed many Heathens believe kneeling or acting in a subservient way is likely to alienate the gods rather than please them. There is no ‘Bible’ as such in Heathenism but many Heathens look to Poetic Edda, a selection of old Norse poems for inspiration.
Iceland’s latest Hof should be completed next year, and as Heathenism is one of Iceland’s fastest growing religions, I don’t think we’ll have to wait another 1,000 years before the next one is built.