Many of our Folk who have come home to Asatru tend to identify with a very small portion of our Germanic ancestors’ past: the Viking Age. There are many reasons for this: the Vikings were all white, they were tough, they were cunning, they were warriors, they were adventurous, and most importantly, they were Asatru. These are all great things to be, and all things to be proud of!
However, this obsession with Scandinavian pirates does have its detriments. The Vikings, even if they were our kin or direct ancestors, are not the example par excellence for Asatruar or our Folk at large. While many of them surely were pious and devoted to the Gods, the majority of them were focused on simply being pirates: pillaging, burning, raping. The average Scandinavian/German/Aryan would not have seen this as a pious or noble or spiritually-driven life. Going a-viking was typically a last resort effort to make one’s own fortune and glory. That concept is still alive in us today, as well as in all of our ancestors and cousins between the Viking Age and the present. In the following paragraphs, I’d like to present an alternate group of our ancestors who possessed most of the positive traits of the Vikings, but also managed to cultivate devotion to nobility so well that they became known for their (unfortunately Catholic) piety!
If you are of British, Irish, French, Belgian, Dutch, or Sicilian descent, then these pious adventuring warriors were likely part of your ancestry or culture: the Normans, which is Frankish for “Northmen”.
The Normans were a pan-Aryan mixture of Franks, Saxons, Gauls, and Danes. Their bloodline was formed when Rollo, a Viking leader, was offered land in northwestern France so that he and his men would stop raiding the Christian Frankish kingdom. Rollo and his descendants, unfortunately, converted to Catholicism, but also learned of chivalry and piety, even if it was piety towards a foreign deity. Even as devout Catholics, though, they kept their adventurous nature, their cunning minds, their martial bearing, and their conqueror spirit!
The Normans famously conquered and ruled England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Sicily, the Netherlands, much of France, and some parts of the Middle East. When they conquered these lands, they did it for glory, just as their pagan Viking forebears did, but also because it was often the will of the Pope and, in turn, their god.
To paraphrase something our Alsherjargothi said: we need less “berserkers” and more “knights”!
When we look to one of our ancestral cultures to take inspiration from, let us make it the Normans! Pious, wise, horse-riding, adventurous, conquering Northmen who became knights, priests, and kings! Let us replace their foreign Christ-god with our own high and holy Æsir and Vanir, and march forward with both strength and nobility! Let us conquer life’s obstacles proudly and for the glory of the Gods!
Gothi Trent East