Book: Ways Of The Asatru by Michael SmithThere are two issues which I would like to bring to the reader's attention concerning this book. The first would be that this book should not, by any means, be considered an absolute authority on Asatru. The reader is encouraged to read other books, do research, and explore their own hearts to find their own religious and spiritual truths. The main reason for that would be because of the second issue I have to briefly make note of.
The second would be that regardless of all, Asatru is chiefly a religion of the individuals' spiritual path. Although there is a strong sense of community that is encouraged, it is up to the individual to find what rings true to them for their own spiritual health. Asatru itself is a religion of fairly broad guidelines. It is up to the individual to decide where within those broad guidelines they lay in what they believe.
So please, dear reader, I will be bold in giving you a set of "rules" for those who decide to research or become Asatru. Rule # 1 is: Be your own scholar. Asatru is a religion with homework. This extends to not just contemporary writers but, to authors in the fields of linguistics, history, archeology, and other scholarly fields of study. All can help you in your spiritual quest. Rule # 2 is: Always get different perspectives. This is a religion that has its roots in the past, but is (and must be!) evolved within modern context. And it must and will evolve as the future unfolds.
This book has been screaming to come out of my head for quite some time. Folks over the years have asked me, "Why don't you write a book or something?" My response was usually a humorous, "Don't you think I drive enough Asatru folks nuts already?" Then I started thinking about it more seriously as my 12th anniversary of becoming Asatru came closer, and figured it was time to unleash my brain upon the masses. I only hope it helps some folks on their travels. As I know, just writing it has helped my own. Also, the fact that every time there’s a good beginner book out, it goes out-of-print. This way, by self-publishing, it won’t go out-of-print.
Lastly, I'd like to thank the folks who kept pushing me to do it and whom I've found their friendships and debates helpful. I'd like to thank all of Raven Kindred North, Vingolf Fellowship, Medoburg Kindred, Tim McKinney (co-founder of Athelingulf Fellowship), and the countless individual Asatru folks who I've harassed, infuriated, and got into huge debates with over countless thoughts, theories, and beliefs. Without challenge, the mind never evolves and grows.
But most of all, I want to thank my beautiful wife, Catheryn, my precious daughter, Freyjadis, and my strong son, Tiarnan, for being my highest inspirations. - With Honor, Michael J. Smith
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