What is Heathenry?

Before getting into the details of Norse paganism, I wanted to take some time to define Heathenry. Heathenry itself is an umbrella term for a number of modern pagan religions that are at least in part inspired by the cultures and practices of pre-Christian Germanic peoples. Many Heathens are reconstructionists who look at archaeological record and surviving folklore to inform their practices.

Under this umbrella, there exists a number of more specific groups, including (but not limited to); Norse, Germanic, Anglo Saxon and various types of eclectic paganism and Wicca.

Norse Heathenry

Norse Heathenry (or, more commonly, Norse paganism or Norse polytheism) focuses on the Pre-Christian religion of Scandinavia from the Iron Age through the early Medieval period. There are various labels under this term as well, but it is typically not necessary to narrow things down any more than this (though, I do elaborate on them here). Norse paganism is probably the most well known type of Heathenry (and, likely, the most well known type of paganism second only to Wicca)

Norse pagans focus on the gods of ancient Scandinavia (the Aesir and Vanir), as well as the spirits present all around us (ie landvaettir, husvaettir). Blots (offerings) are the most common type of ritual, sometimes followed by a sumbel (feast). The most well known aspect of Norse paganism is the runic alphabets, the Younger Futhark and the Elder Futhark. Stones with each letter on them (or, sometimes, wooden pieces) are often used for divination or combined to make bindrunes.

In addition to divination, Norse pagans sometimes practice specific types of Norse magic (ie seidr, galdr).

Subgroups: Asatru, Vanatru, Forn Sed/Forn Sedr, Rokkatru

Anglo-Saxon Heathenry

Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, of course, focuses on the culture and practices of the Anglo-Saxons. Typically, Anglo-Saxon is a controversial term with possibly racist implications (with exceptions being made for academia), but not all Anglo-Saxon paganism is concerned with ethnicity, to word it politely.

I personally do not know much about Anglo-Saxon Heathenry but will update this as I learn more.

Subgroups: Theodism, Fyrnsidu

Germanic Heathenry

I know next to nothing about Germanic paganism outside of what is shared with Norse paganism. This will be updated at a later date.


Urglaawe is different from those listed above in that it is focused on recovering folk practices through a Pennsylvania German lens. This blog explains what Urglaawe is though. I would probably leave this to the Pennsylvania Dutch though, I'm only including it since it is a form of Heathenry.

Frankish Heathenry

[Need to rewrite]

Old Saxon Heathenry

I just found out about this one today.

Gothic Heathenry

[Need to look into a little more]