In 2000, under the leadership of Jormundur Ingi, the Asatruarfelagid became the largest non - Christian religious organization in Iceland. At present their are 5 priests, two of which are women, ( Equality !) . They are able to perform legal wedding ceremonies and not too long ago opened a neopagan graveyard in Reykjavik.
Besides the teachings of Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson the reason I chose Icelandic Asatru as my model, was their open religious dogma, and the freedom this allows its followers to express. I would love to be able to join them, but because they are a state sponsored religion, ( they receive money directly from the government, common throughout Scandinavia ), only Icelanders can be members. Surprisingly they favor the seperation of church and state.
Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson talked of his religious convictions in his autobiography saying : " My faith is based on a constant search, but I don't search frantically. It is no use to go out into space to search for some Gods there, if they want to have anything to do with me, they will come. I have often become aware of them, but I don't rush after them, or shout at them. I have gotten to know them a bit in myself, and also in other people. " In other words you cannot force your relationship with the Gods.
That is how I have always been. Even after I started to hear Their whispers, I ignored them. Over time however, the Triad refused my refusal, and since then more and more Gods and Goddesses have entered my life and my conciousnous. Most times I don't talk. I just listen !
So on this day, August 5th, I perform a small ritual to the ones who " legalized", our religion, and gave me the courage to let the Gods and Goddesses into my life. To my counterparts in Iceland I raise my horn to you in honor of all that you have done to honor our Gods, Goddesses, ancestors, and religion. Skal my friends ! And to Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson, I give a special moment of silence to your memory. I only wish I could have known you in this life. To the Asatruarfelagid I raise my horn a second time in admiration and respect . Skal !!!!!!!!!!
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !