Patrons in asatru
A fulltrui is a god-friend, it is that special relation between you and your patron deity or deities. It is a state of complete trust and a path which is not as easy as it sounds. In ancient times it was quite normal for gods and goddesses to choose their followers it is only today that such intimate relations seem unusual. There have virtually no books on patron deities and this is surprising considering the importance of their role in the Old Ways. This work examines the role of the patron within Asatru but could be applied to any of the pagan traditions. This approach comes from a hard polytheistic approach and accepts that all of the lifeforms of Yggdrasil including the giants (Jutons or Etins) can communicate and work with us.
While some heathen authors have argued against patron deities suggesting a Wiccan, pagan or even Christian influence it does seem clear from the historical evidence that personal devotional to a deity was very much part of the northern tradition. However we interpret the sagas, they are filled with accounts of personal communication between humans and the gods and with individuals devoted to a specific deity. Having a fulltrui does not preclude honouring all the gods, it just means you have one with which you work closely. At the same time Asatru does not mix pantheons from other traditions. The focuses is on the Aesir, Vanir, Jotun and with over 100 deities in this spectrum it is certainly a polytheist tradition with lots of options.
Mist offers a succinct but comprehensive look at the basics of Asatru: the deities, the nine worlds of Yggdrasil as well as advise on traveling through the worlds, etiquette and unusual characteristics and zones of each of the worlds.
The next chapter looks in detail at the Aesir and Vanir as patrons. This is very different from traditional descriptions of the gods and goddesses as it focuses on the requirements to interact with them in a patron rather than ritual mode. This is followed with a study of the Jotuns as patrons. So many Asatruar have issues with this especially followers of the Aesir but all the lifeforms of Yggdrasil offer something if we care to interact with them. Much of the prejudice against the Jotuns seems to come from inherited Christian dualism and Christian influences in the Eddas themselves, this especially applies to Loki who so often is depicted as the “Norse Satan”. We must remember that the Eddas are not a bible but a historical expression of our tradition.
Mist discusses various types of patron relationships and the process of developing such a relationship, they are a bit like human on ones; they take time and go through many stages. Adoption can be the final stage when you become a representative of your patron. Any patron relationship should be taken very seriously and will probably come with very intimate and direct contact which can be exhilarating and confronting at the same time.
The practical section includes practical advice on meditations, rites, pathworkings on Yggdrasil, making an altar, devotion and related practice, a selection of meditations are also offered on various gods and goddesses.
This book closes with a truly fascinating series of personal articles from Asatruar working with patrons followed by an examination of writing devotional poetry to your patron with some truly beautiful examples.
An excellent appendix outlining the majority of gods and goddesses with extensive references, associations and lore.
This is a highly significant book on an a little documented aspect of Asatru and will prove of great use to many practitioners who are finding themselves drawn to an intimate relationship with the Old Gods.
The printers Immanion Press use now have an Australian branch, which means that readers who order directly from the Immanion website get their books shipped from the factory in their own country and this means much cheaper shipping costs – so visit the website and have a good look at the great range of available titles !