Updated: Dec 4, 2019
Asatru has done some good things, but recently, due to the constant issues (and ongoing discussions) of bigotry and racism, and constant mis-information about what historical Heathenry was/is, a swift divorce was/is needed between the followers of Asatru and historically based Heathenry. The fact that even Wikipedia's article called "Heathen Holidays" has pointed out that the founder of Asatru in the USA brought the Wiccan Wheel of the Year into Asatru as its holidays (not ever researching the historical Heathen holidays nor their timing/dating) and bringing in a Wiccan Sabbat style Sumble, as opposed to a historical one, was a huge problem. The other Asatru organizations have all followed suit in adopting the 8 spoked wheel of Wicca and a celtic circle, one person at a time channeling energy, as opposed to historical sumble where toasting/oathing/boasting was at random and all had their own cups/nhorns/steins. To make matters worse, while the founder of Asatru in the USA has been attacked for his racial views by the other Asatru organizations, these same organizations follow 100% of his non-racial Wiccan, and Christian, and non-historical teachings. While they all push and sign Declaration 127, outside of the racism, they follow the man they hate seemingly blindly.
Some thought was taken by many of us before divorcing Asatru. Should a full blown Heathen organization even exist? Are organizations in and of themselves, non-Heathen and even historical? Is a "lite org", i.e. just a website and an "association" that is not a 501c3 enough to show the world that historically based Heathenry is NOT Asatru, actually does some research, understands the Sagas and Historical sources, has thought critically of these sources, and doesn't discuss (nor tolerate) racism/bigotry? (Emphasis too on not discussing racism. No tolerance, decision to boot out was a 5 second decision, and we have moved on.) What sort of networking should historical Heathens have? Can an Association (lite org) accomplish this? Should we remain on social media with Asatru (Old Gods new ways) people? Can we pubmoot with them? (It is agreed we cannot do ritual together, as it would affect our megin and uurd.)
There was another movement in the USA that started just before Asatru started. It is now almost extinct today, but there are a small devoted number, less than 100, maybe even less than 50. That movement was founded with solid research, unlike Asatru. It was also a movement that was Anglo-Saxon based. However, the scholasticism of that movement has not met at least my standards, and those in Aldsidu's standards as well. Also, that movement has "sacral kings" which for Saxon Heathens, practitioners of "Aldsidu" (the historical word for Old Saxon Heathenry attested in Old Saxon poetry), the historical sources are all very clear, the Saxons in Saxony did not have kings. Dictators were bad, as Arminius and the Germanic tribes stood up to the Romans because the Kaiser (Caesar) wanted to rule them. (Kaiser is a word that means "Caesar.") Arminius defeated Rome, and Rome never ruled the Germanic tribes in Northern Germany. These tribes became the Saxons, and these tribes, while allying with Arminius, were against Arminius when he tried to be king or kaiser over them, and Arminius' own family poisoned him. Modern Asatru has kaisers/kings. Two Asatru organizations in particular are synonymous with the organizations that they founded: TAC & the AFA. (And I understand TAC has made a change, but their name will be forever tied to their non-scholastic, non-educated, unlearned founder. The same is true with the AFA, their founder's name will be known as that movement's first "king" in the memory of so many people, one who combined Wicca and systems of race/politics inside Asatru.
Nonetheless, kings and asapopes are bad for Heathenry. Aldsidu and the local community I founded follow the historical Saxon teachings: Althing is where matters are decided, and my vote is only one vote, as all members are equal, and all are subject to the entire Aldsidu community, whether I am a leader and the founder, I still am checked by the entire community, as it should be. This brings me to the reason why I have written this article. Aldsidu is flourishing, but the Association for Historical Heathenry (AHH) is seen as my movement, and is not experiencing the growth that was expected. I will now address this issue.
I am a practitioner of Aldsidu: Old Saxon Heathenry. While Aldsidu is similar to Old Norse/Scandinavian Heathenries, there are some minor differences, which can be read about here: https://www.aldsidu.com/post/historical-norse-saxon-heathenry-compared-contrasted
The differences between Norse Heathenry and Old Saxon Heathenry are great enough that these need to be two separate movements. Aldsidu.com is evolving into a lite org, and is about to start a networking list of our members. (Please click "Contact" above if you wish to have your name (can be abbreviated), and your email address and urban area added to our networking list.) Our Facebook group is going on 1,500 members as of December 2019. We have a group forming in Germany, and I myself have founded a large local community (Chicago area) with offshoots in three other states. Aldsidu, for a small "niche" movement of people interested in Old Saxon Heathenry is alive and strong!!! We understand that less people will be interested as "Asatru" and Wicca/Christianity/Old Norse deities mixed together without research, is a short cut most people will flock to. It will always have numbers. Even historical Norse Heathenry, will never have the numbers of Asatru, as most people prefer to mix modern ways, made up things, over the historical holiday dating, historical calendars, wiccan Sabbat style sumble, etc, as it requires no homework, little (if any) reading of the Eddas, Sagas, and other historical sources, etc.
The Association for Historical Heathenry:
Recently I was in a discussion with SJW asshats online. I do not typically engage in those discussions, but since they wrongly were accusing me of racism and other things, I had a "short" discussion with them. The problem at hand is that they kept calling The Association for Historical Heathenry "my" group. It is true that I am one of four founders. It is also true that I have published a book (which I give out for free) on Aldsidu and a book (which I give out for free) a book on historical Norse Heathenry. While I am not a Norse Heathen, I do feel I have some responsibility to the Greater Germanic Heathen community, as all Germanic tribes (which includes the Norse tribes) venerated the Aesir historically. Since zero (and I mean zero) Asatruar have published an accurate book on historical Norse Heathenry, which quotes historical sources and explains them on literally every page or screen (for online eBooks), I felt Norse Heathens deserved one. While it should not be my responsibility as a Saxon Heathen to found a Norse lite org, I felt Norse Heathens deserved something better than what the three major Asatru organizations have failed to give them: Great and Accurate historical information and teaching. While I am/was one of the four founders, I wanted a team of leaders, as always. The leadership originally had 16 founding members, but when that bogged down, we went to four cooks in the kitchen, and got The Association for Historical Heathenry (the AHH) off the ground. However, my goal was that it would behave like Aldsidu, but that any form of Germanic Heathenry can join it, as long as it was a historical Heathen (northern Europe tribal Heathenry) that venerated the Aesir historically. Please note, not all Germanic tribes knew of the term "Vanir." The word "Vanir" is only attested in Scandinavia and DaneLaw England (Norse ruled/conquered England).
Since the AHH was founded, Aldsidu, a niche movement, has grown 400 plus members, and the AHH has grown to 210 members. This is discouraging to me, and I have decided it is time for me to take action. Norse Heathens must grow Norse Historical Heathenry. Norse Heathens MUST pick up the ball here. While four of us founded the AHH, I am an Old Saxon Heathen, and we have one Old English Heathen, and two Norse Heathens as founders. I am fine helping, but in the end, Norse Heathens must grow Norse Heathenry. Aldsidu has no skin in that game and no horse in the race of Asatru vs. Historically based Norse Heathenry. If Asatru and historically based Norse Heathenry want to drive both themselves into the ground, it will have zero affect on Aldsidu. Somehow, the AHH must be considered a movement outside of me, Robert Sass, and if not, I will be forced to step down, or remove myself from leadership, and force others to grow it. My focus is on building Aldsidu, and on HELPING Norse Heathens build their Heathenry.
Other Great Facebook groups for learning:
My favorite places on Facebook are "Saxon Heathenry", "Continental Germanic Reconstruction," "Reconstructionist Heathenry." "The True Norse Way," and of course "The Association for Historical Heathenry." I myself moderate another Facebook page, and I am on maybe half a dozen others as I have good friends in these other groups. But for the most part, most places on Facebook and the world wide web spread more un-researched crap than anything else.
Aldsidu Networking: Going forward, I will be building the Aldsidu contact network. Historical Saxon Heathens MUST stick together, and form communities. With this regard, please contact me via the menu bar above. Click the "Contact" link on the menu bar, and email me a city name, your name (can be abbreviated or a networking name), and an email address, which will be added to our contacts. Also, please email me the number of Heathens in your family. For example, I have a Heathen wife, four Heathen children, and my eldest son has a Heathen Fiance, which makes a Saxon Heathen family of seven. Knowing family sizes in networking is also helpful. Thank you all, for making Aldsidu, and Historical Heathenry, a much better alternative for Old Ways folk, than Asatru.
My last name, Sass, is the Old Saxon word that means "Saxon." The Sassische language, descended from the Old Saxon language, today is called "Platte." For Old Saxon descendants, Old Saxon is still spoken today, in the areas of the map below. While the two most common Westphalian Saxon surnames are Westphal and Sass, there are officially more people with the last name Westphal and Sass in America today than in Germany. Saxon Heathens all over the world can keep the Gods and Goddesses of the Saxons alive!