Forn-Sidr translates to “Ancient Ways” which means that typically it means to replicate some method of doing something from antiquity. Because the term “Forn-Sidr” is from the “Old Norse”, the term is usually associated with the Norse culture, and more recently the “Vikings” of Scandanavia. While there are probably thousands who will disagree with me here, my studies demonstrate that the humans who migrated north from the Roman empire, and west from (what is today) Russia, are the driving cultures behind the development of what we know of this practice. To this point (my opinion only), there are several schools of thought here. In reverse chronological order, they are:
- Icelandic Forn-Sidr where sagas were actually put to the parchment of the time. The concern I have here is that they were penned by converts to the new monotheistic religion, so, therefore, I’m not 100% convinced that they did not dilute the legends and myths. We know from the historical records that the church of the day was really cracking down on the practice of paganism, thereby with the art of writing, they were able to plagiarize much of these oral tales in a way that benefitted the new church.
- Swedish Forn-Sidr was the last of the Scandanavian areas to convert to the new monotheistic beliefs. For the most part, we don’t hear or read any real changes the Swedish peoples made to the actual practice of Norse paganism.
- Norwegian Forn-Sidr was very scattered in their settlements, however, due to their being a part of Denmark (for the most part), they followed suite when Denmark converted by the end of the first millennia. Although there was a slight deviation to the naming due to a language difference, the practice remained pretty much in-tact from the Danish.
- Dane Forn-Sidr was the first real military powerhouse of its day, quickly assembling a monarchy and political structures, Denmark remained the region’s powerhouse for thousands of years. In many cases, the Danes were migrant Germanic tribesmen who wanted a new life. So, when we compare the Danish beliefs of the “Old Norse” we find that many of those Germanic tribesmen brought it with them.
- Germanic Forn-Sidr was the original. This is where many of the beliefs of the Norse pantheon came from. Although named very differently, and minor changes within the story, we find the bulk of the story originates within these people. These people had migrated north after fighting with the expanding Roman empire.
These are the basics when it comes to the Norse practice of paganism, however, there are many other groups out there who are promoting the message of the “Viking” culture, which was similar to the World Cup of cultures, flourishing during the “Age of the Vikings”. The Viking Age (793–1066 AD) was the period during the Middle Ages when Norsemen known as Vikings undertook large-scale raiding, colonizing, conquest, and trading throughout Europe, and reached North America. It followed the Migration Period and the Germanic Iron Age. – wikipedia
Again, as I’ve said before, there are a ton of resources out there for knowing more about the Norse, the Vikingr, Paganism, and the rebirth of this ancient practice in modern times. While there is tons of information, there is also tons of misinformation, so knowing where the actual source documents are that formed the beliefs in the modern-day translations is just as important. Please feel free to browse the selections I have here and suggest others.
Ásatrú and Vanatrú
The Forn Siðr — Ásatrú and Vanatrú Association in Denmark (Danish: Forn Siðr — Asa- og Vanetrosamfundet i Danmark) is a Danish nationwide religious organisation of the followers of Forn Siðr (Ásatrú and Vanatrú), the contemporary revival of Norse paganism and culture. The Forn Siðr association was established on 15 November 1997.
The organisation is non-proselytistic and apolitical. It was registered as a religious society by the Kirkeministeriet on 6 November 2003. This has, among other things, given the community the right to celebrate legally valid weddings for its members, and better opportunities for members to be buried under the protection of Heathen rites. In 2008, the society acquired a burial place in Odense.
The Forn Siðr association holds official blóts (worship ceremonies) for all its members four to five times a year. These are the four solhøjtidsblót. – wikipedia
Forn Si∂r in Norway
Forn Siðr is now officially a religion in Norway, and officially registered as a religion in Norway. Yes, this means that Forn Siðr will now get a share of the Norwegian Lottery Corporation’s earnings. This also means Norse Pagans will now be afforded constitutional protection in Norway and abroad. And of course, several centuries after the (forced) Christianization of Norway, it also means that Den norske kirke (The Church of Norway) finally got some serious competition. Really, it is merely a return to our roots though. Our true ancestral path.
Forn Sidr in Sweden
The society Forn Sed Sverige was founded in 1994, under the name Sveriges Asatrosamfund. (Our new name was adopted at the annual council, spring 2010.) Since 2007, we are a registered religious community.
Society aims to make the ancient custom a living spiritual alternative for people in our own time. Our purpose is not to recreate an ancient religion as it looked 1000 years ago and we do not engage in historical theater. We live the custom in the present, and are constantly working to develop the custom as a spiritual expression adapted to today’s society. We do this by holding blots and other ceremonies, by publishing books and magazines, and by creating meeting places for people with an interest in nature spirituality.
Forn Sidr in Iceland
Forn Siðr was born in the homeland of Norway several thousand years ago. To be true to traditions, Forn Siðr is still based, to this day, in the Kingdom of Norway (registered with the Norwegian government as a religious NGO under number 922 586 918). Forn Siðr is therefore the original and only true ancestral Norse spirituality in the world, shared by actual Norsemen, and based on millennia of oral traditions, cultural immersion, language knowledge, and connection to the land. Forn Siðr is free of foreign and popular influence, revisionism, and is true to its ancestral roots.
Code of my Ancestors
In much of popular culture, the representation of my ancestral heritage is portrayed as violent, less intelligent, individuals who essentially “raised Hel” wherever they went, bent on waging war, raping and pillaging, and drinking volumes of mead. However, those stereotypes are the Hollywood fear mongers attempting to usurp the influence that our ancestors had on the world. My ancestors followed a strict “Code of Conduct” which could result in eternal swimming in a venomous river until Ragnoräk.