Why can’t ‘Forn Siðr‘ be ‘Nyr Siðr’?


Heathenry today is often called “following the old ways”. Heathens generally tend to look back to antique times 1000 years ago or more. While the lore is certainly inspiring and it also may be considered good to rely on solid academic historical knowledge, today’s heathens are living now. They also have to face today’s political, societal and environmental problems and crises.

At the same time, there is a widely notable tendency to divide up in sub-groups. Instead of striving for harmonizing and unifying common practices and structures, even tiny diversities are valued as important differences and used to split up in different “traditions”.

I plead for a different approach. Regarding some important topics, we have already decided to walk “new paths” in heathenry. We stand by human rights, for example, although there is absolutely no historic or mythological background for that. Let’s dare to take other new approaches, as well.

We could concentrate more on polytheism in general. As German ethnologist Bernhard Streck puts it, polytheism was the first “world religion”. We have much more in common with other polytheistic traditions than most heathens will imagine. Some of these have no gap of 1000 years, some have been in existence until today.

Although this topic seems to be more of a religious one, a change of being more forward orientated than backward reaches deeply into political matters. Just one example would be a confirmation of heathenry being ecological. I will present more examples in my full presentation.