I began to lose faith because I could not find other Followers of the Old Ways, and had lost friends and girlfriends who did not want to be associated with a Heathen. I wished that we were like other religions that had places of worship so that I could talk to a priest and other folk who are Asatru. I was looking for peace of mind......
Then one day I went to get coffee at Barnes and Nobles. On the way to the counter I passed the travel section, usually a place I have little interest in, but something caught my eye. They had a travel guide for Iceland. I am not a world traveler but felt a compulsion to pick it up. While looking through the guide I found an article which almost floored me. It was written by a man named Ottar Ottarson who was describing how the Asatru religion had been officially recognized in Iceland, in 1973, and that they were building their their first temple that would be finished in late 2009. I said something other than, " Oh my ", I assure you !
My next, "compulsion", was to travel there. Now that may not seem odd to you, but I had no passport, never flown before, and had only left the country twice. I went to The Horshoe Falls and saw the Montreal Expos play, both in Canada. Not exactly a world traveler. But within three months I had a passport, airline tickets, hotel reservations in Reykjavik, and was sitting at J.F.K airport
all alone and scared to death. Six hours later I landed at Keflavik airport, but I was not scared any more. As we took off I held my Thor's hammer and I just knew I was going to be alright. That They wanted me to go to Iceland !
Jet lag made me too tired to go to the temple on the first day so I took a bus tour instead. I was astonished, this land of fire and ice was almost exactly the way that I had imagined some of the lands in the Eddas! In Gylfaginning it talks about how Muspell's heat had met Niflheim's cold, and how in the resulting drops of water was formed the likeness of a man. That was this place in my minds eye. I took every bus tour that I could take. I saw the volcanoes, not active then, the mountains, the lakes, Thingvellir, geysirs, and the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen, Gullfoss ( Golden Falls ). I could almost see Loki hiding from the Gods in it ! And then it hit me, the Gods did not send me here to see our Asatru Temple, they wanted me to see the great temple that they had created, this beautiful temple called planet Earth. I now use the term Temple of the Aesir to describe it. Though I talked to Asatrua followers over there I never found the time to go to our manmade temple.
As I was sitting in the Cafe Loki, ironically across from their famous Christian Church, Hallgrimskirkja, drinking coffee, I was never more happy. I knew that no temple built by us could ever compare to the temple the Gods had made for us. And that here in Iceland I could speak to people, in English, about the Asatru religion and not be treated like an outcast. I did not feel alone anymore but part of something much bigger for the first time in a long time.
The lesson the Gods taught me was a very important one. The Gods have given me all that I need ! I will never again lose faith, or wish for things I do not have. The Gods have been more than generous. They gave me life, my faith, and this beautiful temple called planet Earth to honor them in. My search is over, I am finally content. Lesson Learned !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !