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Urðarvingi (Foundationalist) Asatru

There are many school of thought regarding the study and practice of Norse/Germanic Heathenism in the modern world. Ours is the only school that gets it ideals from the basest foundations of the ancient Norse/Germanic Religion. Not to be confused with Fundamentalism, Foundationalism requires the deepest level of understanding of history, science and human interaction that shun personal gnosis in favor of observational/universal facts (and truths). Foundationalism has no politics, nor agenda other than to reveal the universe for it's reality using the observations and experiences recorded for us by the Norse/Germanic peoples of the first millennium c.e.

Preface

To compare Foundationalism to other schools is unfair and unwise. The primary importance of most schools of Asatru (North Heathenism) is the establishment of political agendas.

The word Urðarvingi is a reconstructed Gothic name meaning 'Soul-Folk of the Primal Essence'. Foundationalism is a compound belief in the power of the past to shape or present and direct our future. We search for the facts and the truest relationships between those facts to determine the origins and ideals of Asatru. We have found that those observations and ideals are just a relevant today, maybe even more so, than they were to the original practitioners of the faith.

The original practitioners of the faith were raised in the faith, educated from the day of birth to understand the gods and their roles within the universe. They were told in plain and simple language embellished with parables and fables to more easily assimilate the wholeness of the belief structure.

We, in modern times, are not so lucky. We are not told in any plain language anything that makes any sense. Where as a Viking Child was told that the sea was controlled by the "Terrible Force", modern children are told that "Aegir" rules the sea. The drama and layers of meaning are completely lost in the lack of translation.

It is for this reason, among many, that Foundationalism was founded.

What is Foundationalism? Why is it important?

In a religious/spiritual sense, Foundationalists study and/or believe that the faith of the Norse/Germanic heathens has core elements to it that transcend all other faiths and paths. This is not a belief that stems from emotional and ideological superiority. It stems from the comparison of the facts we unearth of the faith with the scientific proofs we have of the real universe. The elements of the universe can be shown to exist and interact in the faith in precisely the same manner that modern science describes. This cannot be said of any other faith or philosophy to the same calculable degree.

Of course, this knowledge is hidden from English speakers because of the aforementioned issue of translation. Gods named "Passion" and "Power", "Bright" and "Soul", "Bold" and "Terror" speak of fundamental truths about the universe and the human experience that their untranslated names do not. Not that there is anything wrong with worshipping "Odin", but the knowledge of the hidden importance of the name is everything in the practice of the religion.

Do Foundationalists worship the Gods differently?

Commonly, modern Asatruar/Heathens believe that the Gods are individuals that live outside the confines of human experience and that the personally knowing of each god or goddess produces all the knowledge an individual needs out of the relationship. Foundationalists agree (with qualifications) and also take it one step farther.

The opinions and experiences of Person A does not affect the reality and totality of Person B. While Person A may achieve any and all desired fulfillment from the relationship, that experience may or may not have anything to do with the reality and totality of Person B. Just because one believes another person to be gay, has nothing to do with the reality of that person's sexuality... one cannot WILL another to become something they are not, no matter how much belief is involved.

Foundationalists believe that the relationships with the gods must come from the understanding of who and what the gods are BEYOND the limited scope of personal experience. In effect, rather than make the personal assumption that a person is gay or even asking them, we look at the facts available to make the most accurate interpretation of the reality and totality of the situation.

This means that Foundationalists seek a truth beyond ourselves and our own experiences to include that which may not benefit us, in order to understand more fully.

Just as it is unforgivable to spread unfounded rumors and innuendo about Person B ("Hropt", or Defaming someone's name is the closest thing to a 'Sin' in all the Sagas), Foundationalists believe it to be a corruption of and an insult to the gods and the faith for anyone to assume that their subjective and limited experience outweighs the totality of facts surrounding the gods.

In order to accomplish this, Foundationalists educate themselves to all the facts available about the gods and the religion in every possible sense.

Foundationalist also believe that Asatru is a religion based upon the realities of the universe. They come upon this belief from the body of evidence before them, in all it's glory. Studying that universe is half the study of the religion and half the path.

How do Foundationalists incorporate their beliefs into their lives?

In the everyday, Foundationalists believe that the broader the base, the higher the structure. The firmer the soil, the taller the building. The more encompassing the knowledge of the problem, the more perfect the solution. This is an omnipotent philosophy. There is nothing it cannot be applied to and every piece of information in the lore supports it.

Foundationalist Asatru is the only rational version of the faith. It is not attempting to change people or their beliefs through opinion or agenda. As Foundationalists, we believe that as we educate ourselves, the facts we know shift, and therefore we must shift with them. Thereby, our spiritual beliefs are shaped by our knowledge rather than attempting to conform reality to fit personal opinion. The knowledge of the universe contained in the history and lore of Asatru just is, and when it is revealed in all of it's perfection, it will be undeniable.

Foundationalism has found that there is nothing in history or lore to declare any particular group of people to be better nor worse nor spiritually more 'correct'. It does, however show that education is the means of ascension. Wisdom is the knowledge gained from experience. Intelligence is the means of learning from the experiences of others.

Since it can also be shown that the Norse/Germanic peoples had access to more extremes of human and universal experience than virtually every other culture on earth, it is therefore a founded observation that their 'Wisdom' is more evolved and accurate than those others. That their observations are echoed by modern science is both a testament to their intelligence and to their legacy of the mindset that spawned modern science in the first place.

One may argue that one does not need to know history, literature, science, art or behavioral science to attain personal spiritual fulfillment. Foundationalists agree with that... but question the usefulness of the (lack of) practice.