What is "Abject Heathenry"?

Abject Heathenry features information for the fundamental support of Heathen identity, lore, history, mythos, and the practice of traditions & rituals of pre-modernist Heathens... 

Here you may find information used and presented by contemporary Heathens throughout Northern & Southern America...

Presently (and for over two-decades), Abject Heathenry provides focused material support for Heathens who are adversely affected and that struggle to exercise fundamental Heathen traditions & ritual while in Military Service or under conditions of confinement...

Etymology (origin) and usage of the term "Heathen":

From Middle English hethen, from Old English hǣþen, from Proto-Germanic haiþinaz; akin to heath (“heathland”). Cognate with Dutch heiden, German Heide, Danish hedning, Norwegian Nynorsk heidning, Icelandic heiðingi. See also Proto-Germanic *haiduz, Old Norse heiðr (honour, bright, moor), Icelandic heiður (honour). Used as An Adjective or Noun...

Old English hæðen "not Christian or Jewish," also as a noun, "heathen man, one of a race or nation which does not acknowledge the God of the Bible" (especially of the Danes), merged with Old Norse heiðinn (adj.) "heathen, pagan," from Proto-Germanic *haithana- (source also of Old Saxon "hedhin," Old Frisian "hethen," Dutch "heiden," Old High German "heidan," German "Heiden"), the term originating from the Germanic Language.

             Most likely the original literal meaning "dweller on the heath, one inhabiting uncultivated land;" see "heath" + "-en".  Historically assumed to be ultimately from the Gothic "haiþno": "gentile, heathen woman," used by Ulfilas in the first translation of the Roman Bible into a Germanic language (as in Mark vii.26, for "Greek"); like other basic words for exclusively Christian ideas (such as church) and it may have come first into Gothic and then spread to other Germanic languages. If so it could be a noun use of an unrelated Gothic adjective (compare Gothic "haiþi": "dwelling on the heath," but a religious sense is not known in any records for this).

 Whether native or Gothic, it possibly was chosen on model of Latin "paganus," with its root sense of "rural" (see definition of "pagan"), but that word appears relatively late in the religious sense. Or the Germanic word might have been chosen for its resemblance to Greek "ethne" (see gentile), or it may be a literal borrowing of that Greek word, perhaps via Armenian hethanos [Sophus Bugge]. Boutkan (2005) presents another, most probable theory:

   The Germanic word "haiþana-" referred to a person living on the "heath", i.e. on common land, i.e. a person of one's own community. It would then be a neutral word used by Heathen people in order to refer to each other rather than a Christian, negative word denoting non-Christians. Nevertheless, there is much evidence in the many Sagas of Odin's-Few using the title of Heathen for themselves. An example—In the year of 1019 CE—the Skald named Sigvatr Þórðarson wrote of an Asa-man that identified himself as a "Heathen" (Heiðinn), in the Saga of Austrfararvísur. Eyvindr, an Eddaic skald, who wrote from a Heathen prospective, eulogized king Hákon. Eyvindr’s dedication poem to Hákon sends the dead king off to Valhall. In the final lines, the poem reads;

Cattle die

Kinsmen die,

Land and lieges are whelmed;

Ever since Hákon

to the Heathen gods fared,

Many a liege is laid low.

“Heathen” was not an official or common derogatory term used by the Roman Christian Church to describe, disparage, and/or ridicule those that honored their native Gods & Goddesses. In all the official and oppressive laws concerning Heathens, the official terms used to describe them were “Paganorum” and “Gentilium." Many examples of the derogatory usage of "pagan" can be found throughout the “Lex Saxonum”, a set of laws enforced against the Saxon Heathen Tribes of NW Continental Europe by Charlemagne’s decree in 803 CE. The term "Pagan" is in fact the only still-existing term that historically was used to derisively describe non-Christians, and in particular Native Faith Heathens.

Nevertheless, "Heathen" is used in these web pages in a vernacular, non-derogatory manner to act as a generalized term (synonymous with Old Roman term of "Germanic" as applied to Native Europeans Northwest, North, Northeast & East of Rome). It is used as a respectful term to describe the past/present, archaic and modern practice & practitioners of Asatru/Odinism (which includes Vanatru, Disirtru, Irminism, Wotanism, Theodism, Odalism, Forn Sed, Fyrnsidu, Northern Tradition, as well as cognate faiths of Rodnoverie, Yngliism, Rodzimowierstwo, Ősmagyar Vallás, Romuva, Rodnova, and other Eastern, Finno-Ugric, Baltic, Slavic Native Faiths, and generally those practitioners of the native/organic faiths of the Indo-European peoples)...  

Translations (the many translations of the term "Heathen"):

Afrikaans: heiden (af), heidene pl, ongelowige, ongelowiges pl

Armenian: հեթանոսական (hy) (hetʿanosakan)

Bulgarian: езичник (bg) m (ezičnik)

Chinese Mandarin:  異教的 (yi jiao de)

Danish: hedning (dk)

Dutch: heidens (nl), ongelovig (nl)

Georgian: წარმართი (c̣armarti)

German: heidnisch (de)

Greek: αλλόθρησκος (el) (allóthriskos)

Icelandic: heiðinn m

Low German: heidensch

Polish: bałwański (pl) m

Russian: язы́ческий (ru) (jazýčeskij)

Cyrillic: по̀ган m, па̀га̄н 

Swedish: hednisk (sv)

Turkish: putperest (tr), müşrik (tr)

This video features commentary on a personal way of explaining the difference between himself, a Heathen, and a Monotheist (one who may adhere to Judaism, Islam, or Christianity)... 

The Speaker in this video gives his personal views, in a very considerate, thoughtful  explanation of the differences between "Folkish" and "Universalist" Heathen creeds, that greatly differ in their fundamental ideals...



 of the 


I WEAR THIS HAMMER as an expression of my relationship with the Gods and Goddesses of my Folk. It is a memorial to my ancestors and the heroes of my people. It represents the holy thirds, Order, Action, and Sustenance; It symbolizes the tripartition of the universe and existence into three distinct destinies, fortunes and fates.

The Hammer is miller, grinder, crusher; that which is wind, thunder, and rain. Ukonvasara Mjöllnir is the great sorrow of Jotuns & Ettins; its master is called Ukkonen, Dönner, Þerkele, Þerun, Taara, Taranis, Thor; He is the Einriði, God of weather, defender of marriage, enforcer of honesty and oaths; to Vingthor alone does Mjöllnir always return. The hammer is the most ancient & holy symbol of both creation and destruction: it is a tool for building and crafting; and a weapon for harm, death, destruction. I will swear sacred oaths upon this holy high symbol, of fealty, contract, and betrothal. I will ask blessings with this powerful emblem for kind weather, calm seas, and bountiful crops. I WEAR THIS HAMMER with pride as an insignia of my honor, ancestry, and Heathen Faith in the Gods & Goddesses of my Folk…

Signed April 20, 1997, by Eighteen California Department of Corrections Prisoners on day nine of a hunger strike that would continue until the administration formally recognized their “Wotanic Heathen Faith” and granted it "equal opportunity to wear symbols of our faith and the same rights & privileges afforded to other faiths" practiced within the Dept. of Corrections… Their bold actions & sacrifice eventually led to the US Federal Bureau of Prisons officially recognizing Heathen Asatru Faith and allowing its practice & wearing of the Holy Hammer within all U.S. Prisons…

The E.C.E.R. is an organization that promotes the many recovered Native Ethnic Religions of Europe; they hold annual Congress, and even offer legal assistance in cases concerning Ethnic religious rights.