Aldsidu: Why we use this name for Saxon Heathenry

There are various groups who use similar titles to Aldsidu. Here is a brief list of them that I found in literally two minutes of searching on Google: Forn Sidr of America, Angelcynn Fyrnsida, Larhus Fyrnsida, Swedish Forn Sed Assembly, Forn Sed Norge, Samfundet Forn Sed Sverige, and several others. One of these groups in particular takes shots at Aldsidu (and myself personally) for using Aldsidu as a term. We are attacked on Reddit, Facebook, and websites for using this term. Remember, Asatru is not a term found in the historical sources, but Aldsidu and several forms of Fornsidr are. In the end, I quote the Eddas, Sagas, and many historical sources in my blogs, and therefore, since myself and those involved in Aldsidu use historical sources to form our practices and reconstruction of historical Heathenry, we get criticized. Our blog articles challenge popular views that most who do not read the historical sources hold. This often upsets people. In the end, these terms were used by historical Heathens to describe their religious beliefs and practices. I am not attacking the term Asatru here. The purpose of this article is to defend our right to use the term Aldsidu, despite its one time occurance in Old Saxon poetry referring to Jewish people following biblical practices. (I will prove below that this is a Heathen word referring to Heathen practice in Old Saxon poetry.) The fact of the matter is, the Old Saxon Heliand, a gospel written in Old Saxon to convert the Saxons, "Heathenized" the Gospel. The purpose of Heathenizing the Gospel was to help forced converts learn the extremely different Christian mindset. Therefore, in the Old Saxon Heliand poem, the Jewish ways were the Old and WRONG ways, and the Christian ways were the right ways. Cognate to "The Heathen Ways are like the Jewish ways, WRONG, and Christianity is RIGHT." Therefore, we do not think using the term Aldsidu is "un-Heathen" in any way. Nor would we in Aldsidu attack those who use Forn Sed and other various spellings. In the end, we realize that historical Saxon Heathens used terms very similar to other Germanic tribes. "Ald" is an Old Saxon word that means "old." The modern German cognate is "alt." "Forn" is also an Old Saxon word, that means "old" but this term should be translated as "former" or "formerly." Fornsidu is not used in ANY Old Saxon source. Please note, I have two images below. One is of the only occurance of the word "Aldsidu" in Old Saxon Poetry. The other, is a screen shot of James E. Cathey's Heliand Dictionary, published in his translation of the Heliand (an Old Saxon poem.) James E. Cathey translates the word "forn" as "formerly." We in "Aldsidu" do indeed follow "former" practices. BUT... to us, these are our Heathen Ancestors' OLD CUSTOMS that we are trying to revive today. How do you say "Old Customs" or "Old Ways" in Old Saxon? ALDSIDU is how you say this in Old Saxon. And many groups claim they are "bringing the Old Ways to today." (TAC in particular uses this one. But pretty much all in Asatru/Heathenry claim they do Old Ways.). So, why all the hate towards the term Aldsidu? In the end, I think our blog articles are well researched, and in order to attack us, we get called racists or morons, when we obviously are not. Now, let me PROVE why Aldsidu is a Heathen word: In the Heliand, a Christian custom is always listed first, followed by the Heathen understanding. Look at the two passages in the second and third screen shots below. Odin (Uuoden in Old Saxon) hung himself on a tree with a spear. The Old Saxons hung prisoners of war on trees with rope. So, in Old Saxon poetry, to explain what Crucifixion was to Heathen Saxons unfamiliar, the Heliand states both a cross (which would be wood and nails) and rope, i.e. the Saxon and Germanic way of hanging on trees. The same is true with "landuuise" of Jews being described as "Aldsidu" after the term "landuuise." First, the foreign way is listed (landuuise, a word that means "traditions of (other) lands), followed by the Heathen way, which here is "Aldsidu" meaning "Old Customs/Ways." Simple. This is consistent throughout the entire Heliand poem. I could also post a long winded argument here that Fyrnsidu, used in other historical sources, is consistent with the word "Aldsidu." In the end, people should be more mature. If they disagree with our blog articles using historical quotes from the sources, follow suit. What I mean is, instead of attacking us (me) childishly, write a blog article using historical quotes to make a counter argument. But this is something those who attack us do not do. This to me is not just a maturity issue, but a scholastic one as well. I think we in Aldsidu are using the term appropriately, and those attacking us should use historical sources to make counter arguments. In the end, I would welcome my readers' thoughts. I pay for this blog, as a gift to the Heathen community. I do not ask for money via patreon, and I make sure all can get my books for free on Facebook (PDF) and free on Academia .edu. I am not trying to sell anything, but give my research away, at my own expense. If I make a mistake, please give me a counter argument with source material. I would be extremely thankful for this, and if I am proven wrong, I will correct my work. It sure beats all the bad behavior and rude IMs I receive. Lastly, I almost left public Heathenry a year ago, when COVID almost killed me. I was in the hospital twice, and thankfully, I am still here today. At that time, many in an Old English group attacked us (well, more me personally) for not only using the term Aldsidu, but for our view of Yule being on the Full Moon of Jolmanuthr (Yule Moon) as the historical sources clearly state. I saw so much racism, and other bad behavior online, I thought to myself "I am truly embarassed to be associated with anything Heathen." I think monotheists often behave badly, proving that there is no holy spirit in them. But I also see such poor behavior online by those in Asatru/Heathenry, that I tend to realize, that what we tolerate, is what we accept. I think Heathens should simply behave better. We may not always see eye to eye. And this is okay. But we should behave in a scholastic and mature manner, as the general public I think often equates "nut job" behavior with Tom Cruise, Scientology, and other "odd religious movements." I would prefer all Heathen movements to behave in a manner of HONOR, Old Ways in which not only would our long ago Heathen Ancestors be proud of, but showing honor to the general public, that we are not 'crazy' people, but honorable people, with strong morals, who are well researched in our religious faith, with our good behavior improving the world around us. Heathenry should not just make us better, but our families better, and the world better. I think sadly, so often, too many movements accept (i.e. tolerate) dishonorable behavior. Nonetheless, I will stick by the term Aldsidu. And I have no issues using it. And this term, is really not that different from Forn Sed and its various spellings. Please join us on Facebook in the group Aldsidu: Saxon Heathenry.




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