Michael Smith - Ways of the Asatru (1.0 MB)
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There are two issues which I would like to bring to the reader's attention concerning this book. The first would be that this book should not, by any means, be considered an absolute authority on Asatru. The reader is encouraged to read other books, do research, and explore their own hearts to find their own religious and spiritual truths. The main reason for that would be because of the second issue I have to briefly make note of.The second would be that regardless of all, Asatru is chiefly a religion of the individuals' sp... More >>>
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There are two issues which I would like to bring to the reader's attention concerning this book. The first would be that this book should not, by any means, be considered an absolute authority on Asatru. The reader is encouraged to read other books, do research, and explore their own hearts to find their own religious and spiritual truths. The main reason for that would be because of the second issue I have to briefly make note of.
The second would be that regardless of all, Asatru is chiefly a religion of the individuals' spiritual path. Although there is a strong sense of community that is encouraged, it is up to the individual to find what rings true to them for their own spiritual health. Asatru itself is a religion of fairly broad guidelines. It is up to the individual to decide where within those broad guidelines they lay in what they believe.
So please, dear reader, I will be bold in giving you a set of "rules" for those who decide to research or become Asatru. Rule # 1 is: Be your own scholar. Asatru is a religion with homework. This extends to not just contemporary writers but, to authors in the fields of linguistics, history, archeology, and other scholarly fields of study. All can help you in your spiritual quest. Rule # 2 is: Always get different perspectives. This is a religion that has its roots in the past, but is (and must be!) evolved within modern context. And it must and will evolve as the future unfolds.
This book has been screaming to come out of my head for quite some time. Folks over the years have asked me, "Why don't you write a book or something?" My response was usually a humorous, "Don't you think I drive enough Asatru folks nuts already?" Then I started thinking about it more seriously as my 12th anniversary of becoming Asatru came closer, and figured it was time to unleash my brain upon the masses. I only hope it helps some folks on their travels. As I know, just writing it has helped my own. Also, the fact that every time there's a good beginner book out, it goes out-of-print. This way, by self-publishing, it won't go out-of-print.
Lastly, I'd like to thank the folks who kept pushing me to do it and whom I've found their friendships and debates helpful. I'd like to thank all of Raven Kindred North, Vingolf Fellowship, Medoburg Kindred, Tim McKinney (co-founder of Athelingulf Fellowship), and the countless individual Asatru folks who I've harassed, infuriated, and got into huge debates with over countless thoughts, theories, and beliefs. Without challenge, the mind never evolves and grows.
But most of all, I want to thank my beautiful wife, Catheryn, my precious daughter, Freyjadis, and my strong son, Tiarnan, for being my highest inspirations. - With Honor, Michael J. Smith
Michael G. Smith, Gwydion Stormcrow, has been practicing Wicca, Magick, and various esoteric disciplines since 1989. He has been active in the pagan community since 1993 when he became a member of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel (ASW), a Wiccan organization in the Mid-Atlantic region. He is an Elder of the ASW and is currently serving as High Priest of Coven of the Rowan Star, a coven in that Tradition. He is a Priest of both Horus and Bast, and works extensively with the Egyptian deities in his personal practices where he uses a syncretic array of esoteric disciplines from Wicca and the Western magickal and shamanic traditions, and is inspired and sustained by his studies of Astrology, Qabalah, Ritual, and Natural Magick. He was trained as a Water Pourer by Shiverah Stonewater, and since 1995 has led sweat lodge ceremonies, and is finishing a book on the sweat lodge ceremony from a pagan perspective. He is on the Board of Directors of Cherry Hill Seminary, an organization that is taking an important step in providing distance education for professional Pagan Ministry. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Sacred Space Conference a conference in the Mid-Atlantic region serving to provide a stage for the interaction and sharing of the rich variety of traditions, beliefs, paths and organizations. He lives in southern Delaware where he works, loves, and teaches, and is one of the stewards of Seelie Court, 100 acres of pagan-owned land dedicated to the growth and evolution of the pagan paths.