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The altar of Ásatrú

One of the first things that the followers of the Asatrú religion  need to do is create an altar in their home. This space is critical so that the followers of Odin and the rest of the Viking gods can celebrate their faith and communicate with the gods.

The altar must be a reflection of the devotee’s spiritual evolution. For this the Ásatrú altar must be a living element, which changes over time and adapts to the needs and spiritual experiences of each moment.

Although there are some rules as to what this altar should look like, it cannot be said that there is a right or wrong altar. Each must find and incorporate the elements that connect them with the deity or deities with which they feel most identified.

Indicating a minimum of general guidelines, we can say that the altar must be kept clean and tidy, out of respect for the gods and for yourself. Its size doesn’t matter too much, it will depend on the space you have and the amount of items you want to incorporate. The altar will face north whenever possible, but we are sure the gods will be tolerant if, for whatever reason, we are unable to abide by this rule.

What should an Ásatrú altar have?

Any object that you consider sacred or useful for your rituals will be welcome on your altar. There is a lot of flexibility in this regard. In general, it is considered more convenient for objects to be made from natural materials such as wood, ceramic, stone, glass or metal.

The deities will give more value to objects made with craftsmanship and even more if you have made them yourself. Of course, you can’t always build all the elements or know if they are built in an industrialized or artisanal way. The important thing is to be detailed and find a harmony that makes you feel comfortable with your pagan altar. If you feel comfortable, the gods will be too.

Main elements that you can incorporate into your Odinist altar

Altar table

A small and simple wooden table will serve as a base for the altar. Some asatruar use a chest, after performing the rituals they can keep all the items inside the chest and in this way everything is collected. A shelf can also be a good option.

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Tablecloth

If you feel like it, you can put on a tablecloth with printed Nordic symbols .

Representations of the gods

They can be sculptures, wood carvings or images in the form of drawings or engravings. Normally they are of the god Odin because he is the main one, but you can place the one you feel most identified with or, if you have enough space, you can put representations of various Norse gods.

It is not mandatory that the representations are gods, you can also use other characters from Scandinavian mythology and, you can even dedicate the altar to your ancestors and put photographs and images on them.

Objects that represent each god

It is also common to use objects that represent the different gods, such as the hammer to represent Thor, a wolf to represent Fenris, etc. Learn a little about the Viking gods  and which elements may be best suited to represent each of them.

Ceremonial horn

The drinking horn of the Viking horn is one of the most important items. In asatru rituals, the sacred mead is shared with the gods through the horn.

The use of candles and incense as an offering to the gods is common. There are those that incorporate other candles as lighting or simply as a decoration.

Offering bowl and tray

A simple wooden or ceramic bowl or tray, for example, will be useful for placing offerings, such as food, drinks, flowers, incense or candles.

Runes

Runes are a sacred and magical element in Viking mysticism that helps us communicate with the gods.

Bowl with water or crystal ball

The water bowl represents purification and, moreover, if you stare at it and focus on the play of light it causes, it will help you relax and meditate.

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In addition to all these elements, you can incorporate all those objects that you want or that have meaning for you. It is common to find a dagger, feathers, stones, plants on an altar.

Ideas for building an Ásatrú altar

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