Reconstructionism tries to recreate Old Norse religious practices as accurately as possible given what we know of the past. Revivalism seeks to revive the Old Norse practices in a modern setting with modern approaches.

Both approaches are essential to the integrity and functionality of modern-day Heathenry. How Reconstructionist or Revivalist a Heathen is depends on their personal preference. Both methods have their benefits. Oftentimes, Reconstructionism informs our direction while Revivalism fills in the gaps. Revivalism also makes Heathen practice accessible for many people.

Both can have unhealthy appearances, particularly when taken to extremes. Unhealthy Reconstructionism turns Heathenry into a high-demand religion, treating the past as gospel and using historical inerrancy as a measure of “true Heathen practice.” Unhealthy Revivalism is deceptive. It pretends something is historical when it’s actually new, or when it’s appropriated from a non-Heathen practice. This spreads misinformation about what Heathenry is.

Healthy Reconstructionism accounts for the needs of modern people and ethics of our modern times, while healthy Revivalism is honest about new material. Neither way is an incorrect approach to Norse Pagan Heathenry.