Gnosis Diary: Life as a Heathen

My personal experiences, including religious and spiritual experiences, community interaction, general heathenry, and modern life on my heathen path, which is Asatru.

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Murder Case Draws Attention to Odinism

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

In the news: Accused criminal brings up Odinism as a defense. 

This post is a summary of recent media coverage of terms of interest to Asatru, Heathen, and Pagan readers. These terms include Odinism, Norse Paganism, Asatru, Heathenism, Runes, Odin, and other terms. One source only mentions Odinism and Runes, the two terms used by the accused criminal.  Another source also mentions other Heathen and Pagan religions, pointing out that Odinism is condemned by other Heathen religions.

Media coverage:

 This source rightly identifies American Odinism as a white supremacist group condemned by other Heathens and Norse Pagans, but wrongly conflates it with Asatru. It also rightly reports that Norse Pagan, Heathen, and even Odinist religious groups don't practice human sacrifice:


This source has more info about the accused and less info about the religions: 


This source goes into more detail about the case and the reason for bringing up Odinism in the defense: 


This source unfortunately calls Odinism a variant of Asatru, which it is not. The source does go into more detail about why Odinism was investigated and why that angle of investigation was dropped:  


This source mostly contains the same information as other sources, but it emphasizes that Odinism is a form of Norse Paganism "hijacked by white nationalists," a phrase also reported in other sources: 


This source contains a motive for the murders other than ritual sacrifice. The possible motive reported is related to white nationalist ideology: 


This is very recent news, and no doubt there will be more media coverage, and more details reported, as the investigation goes on. As this blog is about Asatru and Heathenry, I'm only reporting on the aspects of the case that affect the public image of Asatru and Heathenry, and of our gods and symbols. There could be a big development on that later, but I chose to break this news to my readers as soon as possible, before they might see it on mainstream media reporting.

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Erin Lale is the author of Asatru For Beginners, and the updated, longer version of her book, Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path. Erin has been a gythia since 1989. She was the editor and publisher of Berserkrgangr Magazine, and is admin/ owner of the Asatru Facebook Forum. She also writes science fiction and poetry, ran for public office, is a dyer and fiber artist, was acquisitions editor at a small press, and founded the Heathen Visibility Project.


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