The name of the primary tribe of Norse deities, often anglicized as “Aesir” in English. The word “Æsir” is plural for áss or ǫ́ss, which simply means “god.” The words Ásatrú and Asatro gets their names from this term.
In Norse mythology, the Aesir go to war with another tribe known as the Vanir. The Aesir are sometimes thought to represent civilization while the Vanir are thought to represent fertile land and agriculture. These two tribes are sometimes contrasted with Jötnar—beings that embody the untamable and even hostile wilderness.
However, the word “Aesir” describes a community of gods as opposed to a divine species. Many of the Norse gods are descended from Jötnar, if not fully Jötunn themselves.
“Folkish” describes a race-based Heathen identity based in bloodlines and a perceived white “heritage.” This term comes from the Germanic ethno-nationalist Völkisch movement and is recognized as a dogwhistle for white nationalism. From the Southern Poverty Law Center:
“Neo-Völkisch adherents base their spirituality on the survival of those descended from white Europeans and the preservation of what they claim are dead or dying cultures. Such individuals and groups use a variety of terms to describe their spirituality such as Odinism or Wotanism, and Odalism, but sometimes they co-opt other non-racist denominations such as heathenism, Ásatrú or even paganism. Qualifiers like “Norse tradition,” “Germanic” or “proto-Germanic” are sometimes attached to those terms. These categorizations can be confusing, as no form of paganism is inherently bigoted. Some believers actively distance their religion from neo-Völkisch dogma.” (Source)
Despite some impressions, “Folkish” doesn’t mean “ancestral practice.”
An old Norse word that translates to “fully trusted one.” Was historically used to describe a person’s patron saint. It is now sometimes used in Norse paganism to describe one’s patron deity.
One of multiple parts of a person’s soul in Norse Paganism. The fylgja is also known as the fetch/follower. It is a core essence of a person. The fylgja can travel away from the body in a form of astral shape. Famous examples of fylgja are Odin’s ravens, Huginn (“thought”) and Muninn (“memory”). This part of the soul extinguishes after death.
Gnosis, Shared Personal
Shared Personal Gnosis (SPG) is when two people independently experience the same UPG.
Gnosis, Unverified Personal
Unverified Personal Gnosis (UPG) is unique, unattested knowledge about a deity or other entity that you gain through personal interaction. This is different from having a “theory” or a “headcanon” in that it is something you experience, as oppose to something theorize.
One of multiple parts of a person’s soul in Norse Paganism. The hugr is the mind, emotions, and will. This is the property of consciousness and agency. The hugr leaves the body upon death and goes into the afterlife.
A faith system that focuses on the currently-lived life of a person, as opposed to concerning itself with the afterlife.
A type of spirit that embodies the wild, untamable, and sometimes inhospitable forces of nature. This word is crudely translated to “giant” in English, but is a bit of a misnomer.
A spirit that embodies a geographic location or land feature.
A domestic spirit similar to the British Brownie or Gnome. Nisse are tied to the function and fortune of a home and are deeply involved with its processes, particularly cooking, baking, and brewing. They can be a great benefit or a great mischief depending on how they are treated. Not all homes have a Nisse.
Orthodox religions focus on cultivating “Right belief” amongst followers. They prioritize faith and adherence to creeds, dogmas, and doctrines.
Orthoprax religions focus on “Right Practice.” It is believed that only through certain rituals or actions can a person properly practice their faith and commune with divinity. In a decentralized religion like Norse Paganism, orthopraxy is decided upon by the individual.
Devotional Polytheism is a relationship with divinity built upon a deep interpersonal relationship.
A religion or spirituality that focuses on achieving a desired afterlife, or is centered around answering questions about it. Examples of transcendent faiths include Hinduism, Taoism, and Christianity.
An Old Norse word meaning “being.” This refers to any kind of spirit, from deities, to earthly spirits, to human ghosts, etc. The English equivalent is “Wight.”