Exploring Northern Wisdom Together
Cattle die, all kinsmen die
Someday I to may die.
But a good name goes on forever.
Meet our Goðar (priesthood)
The priesthood with Ásatrú Utah holds a role in the religious and spiritual practices. In this polytheistic belief system, the priesthood consisted of individuals known as “goðar” male singular:is Goði and female singular Gyðja
Our priesthood plays a critical role in maintaining the religious and spiritual traditions of Ásatrú Utah. They provided leadership, guidance, and a connection to the spiritual realm, ensuring the well-being and prosperity of our community in both everyday life and times of crisis.
Kelly RichanSenior Goði
Goði Kelly has been practicing Ásatrú for 29 years and serves as Senior Goði for his Kindred.
Kelly has been practicing Rune and seiðr magic for 28 years.
He has served in the past as a religious volunteer for Utah State Prison for 7 years.
He also served as Thing speaker for the Ásatrú Alliance in 2002,
Kelly has been very active in the grater pagan county and has presenter at several pagan festivals.
Bernadene WhittenLaw Speaker and Gyðja
Bernadene has been a practioner of Witchcraft since 1974.
“I knew there was something more, something other worldly, since the day my grandfather laid his dowsing rods in my hands. The moment they moved on their own was the day my mind opened to new possibilities.”
Bernadene was raised in Juneau Alaska, eating blueberries off the bushes and fighting off bears for salmon.
She’s been the local coordinator for Salt Lake Pagan Pride Day, and Ogden Pagan Pride Day. She’s been a member of two covens, moving to Colorado to study with her first teacher for three years. And is a member of a Kindred, and serves as the law speaker.
She is the wife of the Senior Goði, has three children, five cats and one dog
What Ásatrú Utah Believes
We believe in the Norse Pantheon of Gods and Goddesses with Odin and Frigga reining as High God and Goddess of Asgard.
Our religion is known as Asatru, meaning “True to the Aesir” or “True to the Gods”.
We believe that the Gods created the world and mankind and that we are descendants of the Gods.
We believe that our Gods and Goddesses are real self-aware beings.
We also believe that we should (as the Gods) live by The Nine Noble Virtues: Courage, Honor, Truth, Hospitality, Discipline, Self-Reliance, Perseverance, Industriousness, and Fidelity.
We believe that the Eddas, Myths and Norse Sagas are the divinely inspired wisdom of our religion.
The object of Ásatrú Utah is to provide an organization whereby they can assemble for their enlightenment and to do work for the benefit of all.
Our religious leaders, (known as the Gothar) guide our religious gatherings and are entrusted with the care of the spiritual needs of our people.
Ásatrú,is a contemporary revival of the ancient polytheistic beliefs of Northern Europe. This modern religious movement traces its roots back to 1972 when Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson and eleven fellow Icelanders embarked on a journey to reintroduce public worship of the Norse gods, goddesses, and land spirits. This resurgence of the Old Way quickly gained momentum, spreading across the globe, with nearly 40,000 practitioners in ninety-eight countries by 2013.
The term “Ásatrú” translates to “True to the Gods”” and centers around the worship of the Norse deities.
Individuals who follow this path often identify as Heathens, and the broader term “Heathenry” encompasses various contemporary religions inspired by Northern European polytheistic traditions dating back to around 2000 BCE.
Notably, Ásatrú lacks central authority and fixed dogma, resulting in a diverse array of beliefs and practices throughout the Heathen community.
The historical roots of Northern European polytheism stretch from the Bronze Age through the Viking Age, fostering unique variations among the Germanic peoples across continental Europe, the Nordic regions, and the British Isles. While mass practice waned with the spread of Christianity, evidence of private worship persisted for centuries, and elements of these beliefs and rituals endured into the twentieth century as components of folk religion among the Northern European diaspora.
The Icelandic government officially recognized Ásatrúarfélagið in 1973, making Ásatrú the largest non-Christian religion in Iceland. In the United States, Ásatrú and Heathenry gained official recognition by the Department of Defense in 2017, granting practitioners full religious rights across all service branches.
Since the establishment of Iceland’s Ásatrúarfélagið, or “Æsir Faith Fellowship,” in 1972, modern Ásatrú has expanded globally through national organizations, regional gatherings, local worship groups, and solitary practitioners.
Contemporary Ásatrú encompasses a wide spectrum of beliefs, ranging from humanism to reconstructionism and from metaphorical interpretations of the gods to the acknowledgment of distinct divine beings. While figures like Odin, Thor, and Freya are revered, respect is also extended to numerous other entities. Ásatrú places a strong emphasis on ethical actions in the present life, prioritizing “we are our deeds” as a fundamental principle, which underscores the significance of one’s actions.
At the core of Ásatrú is the ritual known as “blót,” which serves as the central religious practice. This Old Norse term for “sacrifice” involves making offerings to gods, goddesses, land spirits, and revered ancestors. Blót ceremonies are often conducted outdoors, with the most common offering being various types of alcohol, such as ale, beer, or mead. Communities can perform blót rituals as frequently as desired, and they form the foundation of major celebrations like Midsummer and Yule.
Followers of Ásatrú draw inspiration from a diverse range of texts, including Greek, Roman, and Arabic accounts of Germanic cultures, as well as myths preserved by medieval scholars like Snorri Sturluson and Saxo Grammaticus. They also delve into Old Norse, Anglo-Saxon, and Middle High German mythic and heroic poetry, legendary sagas of Iceland, and later folklore collections. Many Ásatrú practitioners engage in the study and production of modern scholarly works, exploring disciplines such as archaeology, history, medieval studies, and religious studies.
. Many of our community wear hammer pendants, symbolizing their commitment to Ásatrú and the positive values embodied by Thor.