(Original post by MrHayden) Whilst the original Norse Paganism certainly wasn't one unified religious group, the modern version to which an increasing number of people (not including myself) belong certainly is. Whilst they don't have a specific dogma, they do all follow the religion in pretty much the same way. When I say "prayed", I certainly didn't mean it in any modern (or even serious) context! I am well aware that "Thor please be nice to me" is exactly not how it would have ever operated. I do not believe in any higher powers whatsoever, I just have a bit of a soft spot for this one.
I definitely don't consider Snorri's writing as any kind of gospel - I must admit to not actually having read them yet... But yes I certainly did romanticize my description, as my feelings about the matter in the context of the discussion I was hoping to create are of the romantic nature, as opposed to the sensible and objective approach that I'd employ if I were actually conducting something historic and more important than chatting on the internet.
And that's my main issue with it. It's funny; wanting to create an orthodoxy of belief, theology and practice is a very, very Christian thing and would have been completely alien to a pre-Christian Scandinavian. Even the huge emphasis put on the gods by ásatrúarmenn (it's in the name even) is unlikely to have been common outside of certain groups (probably more so with the late royal/warrior cults); with landvættir, álfar, dísir and their own ancestors probably having been a much more significant focus of pre-Christian Scandinavian belief. Obviously this comes from Snorri's focusing on the the gods, and the æsir and ásynjur in particular, which in all likelihood was largely due to his own Christianity (which of course is focused on a deity). You can especially see this heavily Christian aspect with groups such as the Odinic Rite - I wouldn't be surprised if they opened every blót and sumbl with "Our Allfather, who art in Valhöll, hallowed be thy name . . .".
(Original post by MrHayden)
Lots of them call it Asatru, and I don't even know where that came from.
It's a neologism, going back to the period of Scandinavian national romanticism. In Old Norse ása is the genitive plural of áss (god) and trú means belief/faith - faith of the gods. It was originally coined as "asetro" in Danish-Norwegian and Ásatrú is a Norse/Icelandicization of that - "Asatru" is a bastardization of this by various English-speaking neopagan groups, of which 99.9% of their member-base can't even read Old Norse.
(Original post by Hylean)
Well, if we are going to reconstruct it properly, let's stick to their actual names: Óðinn; Þór; and so on.
Beyond that, I find a lot of Norse pagans seem to have very little understanding of the source material and whilst they can accurately quote it, etc. many make connections not supported by the literature or archaeological artefacts. Whilst this is not necessarily a bad thing, I find it slightly incongruous to call it Norse paganism and act like they are faithfully following the material. Moreover, it's more accurately Germanic paganism.
Beyond that, there's the issues that though the myths were recorded in Iceland in the 13th and 14th century, with some only existing in manuscripts from a lot later, the myths themselves probably come from a range of different traditions which may or may not have existed in some cultural world. Certain mythic characters may never have interacted with others in reality, though we find them mixing it up together in the myths as recorded, because mythographers attempted to create a single, coherent world-view from the disparate material left to them.
Then, of course, there is the question of Christian influence and whether any of the material is actually trust-worthy.
Then we have the question of actual age of the source material and whether much of it is older than the surviving manuscripts.
Would that not only be the names for them in Icelandic? I am not sure where norse mythology actually emerged from, if it is even known, but if you know some primary sources I am quite interested to know