An Introduction to Odinism [by Else Christensen]


Senior Editor
The following text is a digital copy of one of the volumes in our library--the New Nation News Racialist Reading Room [NNNRRR]. The content may only be used for personal, educational or non-commercial purposes.

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An Introduction to


To grasp the essentials of Odinism and its role as the spiritual guidance for our folk, it is advisable first to consider the development of our society and the way in which it arrived at its present sorry state.

The struggle unfolding before our eyes is the age-old fight between opposite, racially-conditioned inner values, reflecting the endless conflict of race vs race, people vs people, nation vs nation: a conflict between alien Asiatic credos (in all their various forms) and Western Aryan tribalism with its ideals of personal responsibility and folk identity.

When man first emerged as homo sapiens, he lived in a tribal society in which all members of the tribe shared a communal life, enjoying together the good times when the gods favoured the hunters and the berries were plentiful, and the bad seasons when danger and hard work were the daily fare and food was in short supply.

As man developed his skills and improved his living conditions, his society changed, but the tribal pattern remained. ‘The world was then divided into small communities’ (Aristotle), and in the words of Prof. William Graham Sumner of Yale (1844-1910): ‘The conception of primitive society that we ought to form is that of small groups scattered over a territory …. The size of the group is determined by the condition of the struggle for existence.’

The feeling of being part of a team, depending upon the group, often for life itself, and being responsible for the welfare of the tribe, was ingrained in the genetic patterns of each member of the tribe; as Sir Arthur Keith says: ‘There is a disposition or spirit in every man which leads him to extend his sympathy, his goodwill, and fellowship to the members of his group; he is also conscious of his membership and feels that his own life is part of that of his group.’

Thus man developed a dual standard, a code of amity towards members of his own group, while a code of enmity was adopted towards all others.

In the societies of our ancient forefathers this dual standard became very strong, and tribal consciousness prevailed for centuries and is still kept alive in various regions of the West today. Unfortunately, it also resulted in much bloodshed between tribes or clans of essentially the same biological and cultural heritage, often killing off the most courageous and best endowed members of the clans, thus reducing the overall strength of the Northern European peoples.

But tribes and clans could also act together to form larger, more effective unions; and out of one such process there arose Rome. Growing stronger through internal consolidation and external conquests, Rome evolved from a tribal city-state to a Republic, and thence to an Empire dominating extensive areas of Europe, the Middle-East and North Africa. As a result, a diverse multitude of races, peoples and tribes came under the domination of an increasingly tyrannical and corrupt Roman power structure. The conquered masses seethed with rebellion, and Roman legions traversed the cosmopolitan Empire ruthlessly suppressing insurrections. And it was from the unrest in Roman-held territories in and around old Palestine that there was spawned a religious concoction known as Christianity: a protest of the downtrodden masses against Roman authority.

The Christian Creed

Christianity developed from an obscure sect of universalist-minded Hebrews called ‘Essenes’; and although initially in opposition to certain tenets of Judaism, Christianity retained many Judaic traditions and outlooks. Judaism, of course, as well as its illegitimate Christian offspring, was largely based on religious concepts borrowed – or rather stolen – from the even more ancient pagan creeds of the Babylonians, Persians and Egyptians.

Onto these purloined ideas the Judaic Hebrews grafted their own peculiar effusions, including the well-nigh paranoid belief that they were the ‘Chosen People’ of their tribal deity YAHWEH and destined to rule the world. In Christianity these Judaic notions of divine ‘specialness’ and world hegemony were transformed through Essene influences into the conviction that spiritual ‘salvation’ could be had only within a universal brotherhood of believers, blindly following Christ’s teachings and the sole ‘Word of God’.

The Christians’ advocacy of equality, their disdain for the family unit, and their insistence upon Spirit/Nature dualism (manifested by attitudes of other-worldliness and asceticism, and the fact that their God is outside Nature and not a part of it) combined with a fanatic missionary zeal to make them suspect, even subversive, in the eyes of Rome. But despite her intermittent crackdowns, Rome, riddled with decadence and universalism, was unable to eradicate the fast-spreading Christian plague; for amidst Rome’s chaos of people – the detribalized masses of a crumbling Empire – Christianity thrived.

Despite its ‘other-worldly’ pretensions, Christianity, too, had its will-to-power, and its priesthood grew into an opportunistic clerical establishment, eager to worm its way up into temporal prestige. By 326 C.E. Christianity was officially recognized by the tottering Roman State; and after the invading Germanic tribes finally toppled the Empire, the Christian Church, having incorporated organizational principles copied from the Romans, was experienced and coordinated enough to effectively spread spiritual subversion and gain political sway among its less well-organized Teutonic hosts.

The Teutonic tribes soon coalesced into kingdoms and later into recognized nations, and the Church, well ensconced in positions of power, was frequently able to marshall the might of the State for its own purposes, often allying with tyrants to convert or crush Aryan heathens and ‘heretics’.

The alliance of the Christian Church with statist despotism was an inevitable phenomenon, for Christianity itself is a despotic religion, preaching submission: submission to an Oriental despot-god, submission to an artificial code or morality – a flesh-hating, life-loathing, earth-denying morality – and, above all, submission to the dictates of the clerical bureaucracy.

Thus it was through calculated force and violence that absolutist Asiatic dogmas were imposed upon our Folk. And although these alien concepts in time became modified by the Aryan West, they have remained the foundation for Christianity ever since.

Spread to the West by the Christian missionaries, such concepts were found hard to understand by our landed forefathers with their strong tribal feelings; whereas their southward-wandering kinsmen, uprooted from ancestral homelands, were spiritually disoriented and somewhat more susceptible to the Christian malady. As our Folk’s opposition was subdued and they subsequently were forced to accept the Christian creed as their religious philosophy, this act of violence resulted in a spiritual schizophrenia that today is manifesting itself in the complete break-down of our native spirituality.

The Secular Gospel

The Age of Reason caused many of our kin to question the sanity and propriety of the Christian doctrines. Amidst the intellectual ferment of this era, Karl Marx, the scion of a long line of rabbis, was commissioned to write the secular gospel of Judeo-Christianity, inspired directly by the old messianic and world-hegemonist aspirations, but given a basis that claimed to be rational. The moth-eaten doctrines of universal brotherhood, the dissolution of family ties and the social equality of all humans were again pounced upon, this time by Marxist missionaries who would impose their ‘kingdom of heaven on earth’ under the aegis of a despotic State.

All such doctrines go against our inborn, folkish grain. We Aryans have from the cradle of our Folk been accustomed to consider it our first duty to take care of home and family; it is our nature to accept duties and responsibilities, at the same time expecting our kinsmen to do their part. This is the law of our lands, the custom of our folk and the strong and proud heritage we have received from our forbears.

The reason that the Christian and Marxist concepts have been able to get such a strong foothold in countries is the fact that, besides our inclinations towards strong tribal feelings there is a generous and compassionate side to our nature, one that makes us cheer the underdog, impels us to disregard our own safety to help someone in danger, or urge us to aid those in need.

A strong identification with tribe and folk is not the same as the Me-me-me-egoism, so common in a materialistic world. Selfishness is not part of a tribal outlook, for the good of the tribe and the welfare of the whole have preference over the wishes and conveniences of the individual. A tribal society puts the interest of the Folk first and guards against intruders from outside; it defends its honor, its territory and its sacred beliefs against foreigners and does not allow aliens to usurp any position of power. A tribal society is a true brotherhood which again combines with other tribes of kindred blood in a greater federation where each component proudly takes its deserved place of honour among equals; but it is not necessarily a belligerent society except when its territories, physical or spiritual, are threatened.

In our modern society the dual codes of amity and enmity are moderated somewhat and appear as natural likes and dislikes: a spontaneous reaction to foreign appearances or thought patterns, expressed so beautifully by Rudyard Kipling in his unforgettable poem – The Stranger.

In reclaiming Odinism, the concepts of which extend to our prehistoric tribal past, we have no desire to antagonize other peoples; on the contrary, we wish for every people to see the spiritual value of cleaving to their native heritage and to follow in their lands the traditions and beliefs of their forefathers. But the cultural well-being of a people is the responsibility of that people alone and no other. As Odinists, our chief concern is for our own Folk, and our sole aim is to inculcate in kinfolk everywhere the Aryan religious attitudes as our native spiritual guideline.

What, Then, is Odinism?

All Aryan peoples have since their tribal beginnings enjoyed close physical and spiritual similarities. Although local variants and differences in emphasis arose, folkish religious attitudes have been essentially the same wherever Aryans happened to live or whatever names they gave to their gods.

In describing the many expressions of Aryan religious philosophy – what we here are calling ‘Odinism’ – let us also look at some of the things it is not.

Odinism is not dogmatic; we will never have a ‘doctrinaire’ Odinism; you will not find a set of rules that, if followed, will make you a ‘good’ Odinist, and if not, will deliver you to eternal damnation. Odinism is not rooted in fear – neither of a deity, nor of death. It is not a religion you convert to on your deathbed – it is a religion for the living.

The Aryan did not consider himself or his world created by a deity; rather, he saw nature and the universe of which he was a part as belonging to a timeless order in which both gods and men had their place and their function. He saw the cosmos as a succession of worlds without beginning or end, in a continuous cessation and renewal, as described so vividly in the Edda, as taught by Anaximandros in the sixth century B.C.E., and as our scientists now also believe.

Odinism is not a slave religion; there is no pleading by a serf to an all-powerful master; but rather a feeling of companionship between gods and men, resting on the strong belief of all being bound together under the power of destiny and through a common conception of moral values.

No religious attitudes that diminish man’s dignity and make him appear small before an oppressive deity were held by our ancestors; no teachings that declare man and his world sinful, base or without value are Aryan in origin; thus the religiosity of our forebears was not concerned with anxiety or penitence.

Man was not born a sinner, but he might be guilty of defying the world order through arrogance or stupidity. Prof. Hans Günther notes in ‘Religious Attitudes of the Indo-Europeans’ that ‘Indo-European religiosity is always directly linked with the conviction of the value of birth and pride in heredity, and that man has an unalterable hereditary nature and an inborn nobility which it is his duty to society to maintain.’ Thus the moral command in Hamlet ‘To thine own self be true’ points to an aristocratic character, for, as Prof. Günther aptly remarks, ‘one does not advise the degenerate to remain true to himself!’

Our ancestors believed in a healthy mind in a healthy body. Nothing that functioned according to the laws of nature could be dirty, wrong or sinful; and again and again we find the belief that the gods were expressions of Reason, ruling the world through natural phenomena.

The Aryan peoples mistrusted all insight and experiences acquired through some contrived state of excitement; no intoxicants or hallucinogenic drugs were used. They felt a direct nearness to the gods, and a priesthood as a parasitic class elevated above the rest of the people did not develop; the regular religious functions were performed by the head of the household, the chief of the clan, or the law-speaker at the Thing.

They disliked ostentation and bravado, but admired simplicity, honesty and courage. They considered a handshake on a deal as binding, and the oath-breaker was the lowest individual of all. They loathed treachery but were not above using a good ruse.

Originally, our Aryan forefathers did not build temples to the gods. Tacitus, who lived in the first century of our common era, notes that the Teutons’ idea of the ‘the greatness of the deity did not permit them to enclose their gods within walls.’ Such concepts indicate the belief that nature was man’s true place of worship, for there, as a free and independent individual, he might communicate with the universal forces and experience the grandeur of the gods.

And freedom was exactly one of man’s spiritual necessities; without being free in body and soul, man was not man. ‘You shall stand upright and not be supported by others!’ said Marcus Aurelius. Cato’s love of freedom was so great that he chose death rather than a life under tyranny. Our Founding Fathers sought to protect the freedom and dignity of the individual from the powers of the state, and – in the unforgettable words of Patrick Henry – ‘… give me liberty or give me death,’ are expressed true Aryan sentiments.

Intolerance and oppression, therefore, are alien to every aspect of Aryan mentality. Our folk soul recoils from interfering in the religious and social life of other men as much as it does from violating their physical boundaries. Such behavior is in conflict with our intellectual ideals, and missionary zeal was unknown to our forefathers in their religious activities.

Odinism is a way of life; it takes in all facets of existence, for all are part of a whole, part of the daily struggle everyone encounters, living as we do in a social environment viciously antagonistic to our high tribal ideals and goals.

The venerable beliefs held by our ancient forefathers do not give us a sheet of instructions to live by, but if we focus on their essence, we can derive some fundamental insights and guidelines that we can constructively apply to our daily lives in a fast-changing and often threatening world.

Some of these essential thoughts are expressed in the Havamal, which is part of the Poetic Edda, while other down-to-earth attitudes come to our folk through the myths. A myth is a combination of conscious and unconscious tribal knowledge; it is born in the folk soul, and that part of it which issues from the unconscious is probably as close as we shall ever get to absolute truth. This is why our ancestors placed such value on the myths that they kept them alive by oral tradition for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

In the myths the gods live a communal life – reflections of the tribal past; they were seen as the agents of all earthly phenomena and the dispensers of noble values, as well as the guardians of mysteries beyond; and these superhuman attributes of the gods provided important mythic foundations.

The myths tell about heroes and heroines, about love and hate, integrity and treachery, battles and adventures. But they were more than just entertaining stories; they usually had some moral point and became part of the education of the young and reminders to all of tribal traditions and customs, of ancestral beliefs and of hopes and goals for the future; ‘… and signs to us from antiquity are the language of the gods.’ (Hölderlin)

The poets who created these myths were highly respected members of the community among all Aryan tribes; they had a very important mission, for, as Heidegger remarks, ‘The poet stands between gods and men …. The speech of the poet is the intercepting of these signs [the language of the gods] in order to pass them on to his people.’

Throughout history we find that these signs have been kept alive in the minds of our great men; here we have only quoted a few but there are countless thousands of such notables, who in a materialistic world, still understood the language of the gods. We hope to keep intercepting this sacred language so that it will live on in the hearts and minds of our Folk.

The Stranger

The stranger within my gate,
He may be true or kind,
But he does not talk my talk –
I cannot feel his mind,
I see the face and the eyes and the mouth,
But not the soul behind.
The men of my own stock
They may do ill or well,
But they tell the lies I am wonted to,
They are used to the lies I tell,
And we do not need interpreters
When we go to buy and sell.
The stranger within my gate,
He may be evil or good,
But I cannot tell what powers control –
What reasons sway his mood,
Nor when the Gods of his far-off land
Shall repossess his blood.
The men of my own stock,
Bitter bad they may be,
But, at least, they hear the things I hear,
And see the things I see;
And whatever I think of them and their likes
They think of the likes of me.
This was my father's belief
And this is also mine:
Let the corn be all one sheaf –
And the grapes be all one vine,
Ere our children's teeth are set on edge
By bitter bread and wine.

Rudyard Kipling

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The Fellowship

The local unit is the core of any organization, be it political, professional or spiritual. It is the strength and initiative of the local group that determines the health and the future of the organism.

It is, therefore, essential that our local Odinist chapter functions in the best possible manner by discovering and utilizing all the talents available in the membership to create an effective team of kinsmen who know and trust each other.

The work of the local group may be divided into three main objectives: 1) a study of our philosophy in all its many aspects; 2) the propagation of Odinism; 3) a social club where members may enjoy the company of friends and fellow Odinists.

These activities are equally important and it would depend upon the available opportunities and the general inclinations of the local members which they want to emphasize.

The Study Group

The leadership, especially the ‘Moot Speaker’, should strive to make all members feel at ease; he must weigh the preferences of the members and not let any extreme views dominate to the exclusion of the main theme of the moot.

In any group there will be a variety of personalities; it is the function of the Speaker to make sure that everybody is included in discussions and decision-making. He must see to it that no single person (including himself) constantly takes the floor without giving others the opportunity to air their views.

In cases of any great differences of opinion, he must handle the situation as tactfully as possible; if the dispute is a fundamental one, he should table the issue until it can be discussed with members of the Council.

The best way for members to promote the work of the chapter is to attend all moots with the sincere intention of making a positive contribution to whatever activity the group has decided on. Each person should voice his opinion freely and clearly but without hogging the floor.

Members should try to assist with some of the many little tasks necessary for the smooth handling of procedures; if a member does not have any previous experience, this is the best way to learn how to take on responsibility for some special part of the work.

The leadership should delegate work whenever possible and not try to do it alone; the more members getting personally involved, the better for everyone.

The Propagation of Our Beliefs

Odinism is not an ‘evangelist’ religion; nevertheless, our philosophy will never gain additional adherents if members talk about Odinism only to each other. Reaching kinsmen who still are unacquainted with our native folk-wisdom is therefore a top priority.

At present, the initial dissemination of the Odinist viewpoint will most likely and perhaps most effectively be done on an individual, one-to-one basis; but as soon as the ground work has been done, chapter meetings will be an important tool for further explanations and instructions.

The proselytizing Odinist should choose his potential recruit with care, looking for those intellectual and psychological characteristics which would tend to predispose the likely candidate at least to some extent toward Odinism (for example, an ecology or health food enthusiast would be a better choice than a ‘born-again’ Christian or a Marxist).

The kind of approach to be used should be selected with a keen awareness of the individual’s personality and level of understanding: explanations of Odinism, whether verbal or in literary form, should be comprehensible and relevant to the person being dealt with. The best strategy is to emphasize the significance of Odinism to the recruit’s major field of interest.

Odinism may also be presented as an answer to those afflicted with a spiritual vacuum or torn by intellectual doubts.

The Odinist message can, of course, be aimed at a group audience, but this method will work best if the group has at least some degree of receptivity. ‘Shotgun’ appeals directed at an unknown, neutral or hostile audience are usually a waste of time and may even work against the purpose.

One important thing to remember is that in the final analysis the individual Odinist himself, along with the impression he makes, will be the most influential ‘selling point’, for Odinism will in large part be assessed by others on the basis of its representatives. And Odinists will be judged not only by what they say, but by what they do: by how they live their beliefs. Thus the propagation of Odinism by example and by deed is by far the strongest argument we will ever have, and is of crucial importance.

The Social Club

First of all, the social club should arrange all celebrations of special Odinist observances such as Winter and Summer Sunsteads, Spring and Fall Evennights; maybe adding a Maypole dance, a harvest festival or a Samhain evening.

No group should restrict its social activities to these special occasions, but should also get together at picnics, a turkey shoot, a pot luck dinner or whatever the fancy of the members suggests.

One special function of the local chapter would be to arrange social events for the kids and for its teenaged members. However, such events should not be organized from an adult viewpoint only, but rather arranged by the youngsters with the helping hands of older members who, together with the young people themselves, should make sure that the functions stay within the limits of Odinist principles.

Giving the kids an outlet for healthy activities and an antidote to the many harmful influences of peer pressure and modern ‘education’ is an extremely important and worthy project for the local chapter.

The Place

Often a member will make his home available for meetings of the group; if so, help should be offered to shoulder the extra work and expense involved.

If renting a room, it is better to have a small room filled than a larger one where the members are shouting to each other. A room where every seat is taken leaves a far better impression than one with lots of empty chairs.

Don’t let your introduction be too long; ten minutes should be the limit. Don’t grab the floor again and again – the purpose is to inspire people to participate, not to make speeches.

Study groups should not be an end in themselves but lead to a fuller knowledge of our folk, our traditions and history, and to effectuate personal and group action.

Don’t interrupt when members give their views, even if you could say it better; but be sensitive to the need of an inexperienced person for a little help in expressing philosophical thoughts.

Have some projects ready for members who want something to do; encourage them to prepare a program for a later meeting. Have an agenda for each moot, but be flexible and assess the mood of the meeting.

Some More Dos and Don’ts

A study session should not be longer than an hour.

Set a reasonable schedule; it is better to start slowly and then increase activities than to begin with a big bang and not be able to keep up steam.

If a question is asked that does not pertain to the topic at hand, be gracious and answer in as few words as possible and indicate that you would be pleased to deal mmore fuylly with it after the meeting; or arrange a debate on the matter at a later date, but – remember your promise.

If youngsters are present, include them in your remarks; don’t ignore them but make them feel that they are part of the group; after all, they are the next generation of Odinists.

Introduce current events and discuss them from an Odinist viewpoint, but don’t go on and on – say your piece and sit down.

Learn to give a clear and coherent explanation of the purposes and ideas of the Odinist Fellowship.

Avoid extreme fads or peculiarities when representing the Fellowship; people look at these as evidence of fanaticism.

When new people are present, make them feel at ease; don’t pressure them, but give them a follow-up call a few days later.

Remember that it may take several exposures to our ideas before a person attains even a rudimentary understanding.

If you haven’t got the answer to a question, say so; we do not claim to know it all.

It takes work to keep a local group going; there are no short-cuts. There will be disappointments, for you will deal with all kinds of people. The individual who seemed so interested and promising may fizzle out; the all-too-active person may be an agent provocateur, or just full of hot air; whereas the one who asked all the awkward questions may turn out to be your most valuable member. But there are compensations, so don’t hesitate; plunge right ahead, for you will gradually build a community of friends who share your ideals and who understand your concerns.

Whatever the problems and the pleasures, the local chapter is the life-blood of the Fellowship; with persistency, tact and a firm belief in the Odinist Principles, we will replace the alien Christian creed with a religious philosophy based on our inherent mentality and our folkish traditions and culture, in keeping with our folk soul.

Crooked and far
is the road to a foe,
Though his house
on the highway be;
But wide and straight
is the way to a friend,
Though far away he fare.

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The spoken word has more psychological power than the written; a good speaker may excite his audience to the point of ecstacy – something the printed word can rarely do.

Reader and writer do not have the same eye contact that a speaker has with his audience; however, books have some advantages a speech does not: you can take them with you; you can read them at your leisure, fitting them into your schedule; and, more importantly, you can read again and again the thoughts an author has expressed, in order to better understand or remember his conclusions. You can keep your books for need reference, and you can show them to your friends and get them interested also.

For practical reasons books will have to be our main medium of education, information and entertainment; the problem is to get the best books available, for many of them cannot be found on Main Street.

On the next page you will find a small selection of books we think every Odinist should read. It is not, by any means, a complete list – far from it – but it is a good beginning, and we would suggest that if you haven’t read them all, you should do so as soon as you can.

Some are informative, some are entertaining, some are both; but they all in one way or another express Odinist sentiments and form a solid basis for further reading.

From time to time we shall make up some more lists dealing with special issues. We shall try to select those giving the best and most accurate information, but often you will have to read several books on the same topic to get the full picture. As more books are published and become known to us, we may revise or add to our list.

Some Recommended Books

Before Civilization (Colin Renfrew)
A New Theory of Evolution (Sir Arthur Keith)
The Works of Robert Ardrey
Why Civilizations Self-Destruct (Elmer Pendell)
White America (Earnest Sevier Cox)
The Importance of Race in Civilization (Wayne MacLeod)
Religious Attitudes of the Indo-Europeans (Hans Günther)
Gods and Myths of Northern Europe (H.R. Ellis-Davidson)
The Works of William Morris
1984 (George Orwell)
Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
Myths of the Norsemen (Roger Green)
The Works of Robert E. Howard
The Federal Reserve Bank (H.S. Kenan)
The Works of Peter Kropotkin
Eric Brighteyes (Rider Haggard)
The Hobbit and Lord of the Ring (J.R.R. Tolkein)
Gods of the North (Brian Branston)

Those not available in a large book store or public library may be purchased from:

Howard Allen Enterprises, P.O. Box 76, Cape Canaveral, FL 32629
National Alliance, P.O. Box 3535, Washington, D.C., 20007
Noontide Press, P.O. Box 1248, Torrance, CA, 90505
Viking House, P.O. Box 160, Lake City, MN 55041

Published by
The Giallerhorn Book Service
P.O. Box 1647, Crystal River, FL 32629

All Rights Reserved


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