The Tenets of Sedian Belief
1. We are polytheists, and as such, we believe in the Gods and Goddesses as actual Powers within the natural universe.
We believe that there are many Gods and Goddesses. A forest makes up many individual trees; however, they are interconnected through the mycorrhizal network. Similarly, our physical bodies are individual while comprising trillions of cells, and science is discovering that each cell contains its own level of sentience. There is no ‘One,' but there are many. Within nature, a single entity does not exist, and it is the same with the Gods. For example, there are many radio frequencies. To hear a station one must tune the dial to the specific frequency, yet if your radio is stuck on one station and you only perceive the one, this does not negate the existence of other frequencies. As per Natural Law, we reject all forms of Universalism, for there is no unity, only multiplicity.
2. Sedian is the way of our folk, and thus we are not following Forn Sed, the Ancient Customs. This is our path, from before, for now, and for the future.
Forn Sed, from the Old Norse, Forn Siðr, is a term referring to the ancient customs of our northern Teutonic ancestors. Sedian, a derivation of Siðr, simply means, ‘The Way,’ or 'The Customs.' Although we take elements from the past and reconstruct many of the ancient ways, we live in the 21st century and accept that adaptation is a necessary, and inevitable, aspect of life; this is why the Sedian path is ‘Our Way,’ a living tradition set within the present age. We carry our hearts in the past, yet we build in the present, to create a better future for our Folk.
3. As polytheists, we reject the terms “Pagan” and “Heathen,” which do not reflect what we believe. We do not abide pretenders within our ranks: atheists, secularists, anti-Christian reactionaries, or any that denies the divinity of our beloved Gods and Goddesses. Within the structure and evolution of language, various terms arise to give context and understanding to people, places, things, and ideas; however, as with all things, terms can evolve and take on different contexts and understandings–‘Pagan’ and ‘Heathen’ are no different. Contextually, Pagan, from late Latin ‘Paganus’, referred to any non-Abrahamic, rural inhabitant. Similarly, Heathen, from the Old English ‘Hæðen’, referred to people that did not follow the god of the Bible. Today, however, the terms have evolved to take on meanings that do not reflect the diversity of thought extant within modern Northern European polytheism. Bandied about by many whose views contradict, these terms have devolved; causing them to lose any specific meaning. Therefore, we reject the terms ‘Pagan’ and ‘Heathen’, as they do not reflect our beliefs.
4. Sedian is a prefix applicable to any set path, e.g. Ásatrú, Odinism, Theodism, Irminism, etc. We are not here to replace these terms, but rather to complement them. As such, we do not teach that this is the way for all, only that it is the way for us and do not teach others to become as One, but rather teach them to become themselves.
Consistent with the diversification of thought within polytheism, we do not seek to tell others what to say, do, or think; individuals have the freedom to exercise their own autonomy of thought. The native spiritual and religious path of our people can be called many things: Ásatrú, ‘One Who Is True To The Gods,’ Odinism, ‘One Who Honors the Odinic Pantheon,’ Theodism, ‘Belief of the Tribe,’ (with an emphasis on the Anglo-Saxon), and Irminism, ‘Belief in The Great One’ (Irmin being identical to Jormun, a name of Odin). Each term has evolved organically to encompass a different set of principles and beliefs, and upon further reflection, many who might use the same term differ wildly in their interpretations; therefore, Sedian, as a prefix, brings clarity and refinement to the following term. Within this worldview, we desire for our Folk to retain their individuality and look within to find themselves and their connection to the divine, however that may be and by whatever label they feel is best applicable.
5. The Sedian path is an ethnic path. Now and forever.
Considering that the original definition and context of ‘ethnic’ referred to those that were neither Christian or Jewish, it is appropriate that our belief is referred to as ‘ethnic,’ for we are the descendants of Northern Europeans, and as such we embrace the native culture, religion, and spirituality of our people. Our religion is our birthright and our pantheon is worshipped as a part of our culture and heritage. The Gods and Goddesses speak to us through our blood, as they are our divine progenitors, and it is through our genealogical lines that we trace our heritage back to these creative forces. Our religion is our birthright, solely for those who are descended from the peoples of Northern Europe.
6. We utilize Epicism as our principal method of reconstructing the ways of our ancestors and developing a truly religious belief system.
As with all belief systems, we have a pantheon and sacred written lore, or hierology. Every religious discipline has a methodology of research, and we are no different. Academia has brought us several schools of thought in researching the sources of our ancestral beliefs, each of which we feel have been detrimental to understanding our way of life. Thus, we utilize the Epic Method, which builds upon the premise that the Poetic Edda and Skaldic Poetry, being pre-Christian, are our primary texts documenting the beliefs of our ancestors. In gathering these primary sources, we can create a chronological timeline outlining the entire mythic narrative. From the first creation to the golden age of the Gods, and from the rise of the corruptive forces of Chaos to the final destruction at Ragnarök and resulting new age, we can see the entire epic unfold before our very eyes. The Epic Method pulls from the Lore a cohesive account of how our ancestors viewed the gods, the world, and themselves based upon the premise that this was an actual religion for them. From within the Lore, away from foreign influences, we can rebuild our peoples’ native traditions, religion, and spirituality.
7. Our reconstruction efforts are built upon three tiers: Tradition, Religion, and Spirituality. Let each come to the path in their own way and at their own level.
As time passes, we lose a piece of what previous generations have passed down. As practitioners rebuilding the ancient ways, we seek to reclaim our Northern European heritage and that which has been lost to the sands of time. Through our extensive efforts, we are rediscovering many things that have been hidden just out of sight but were always there, in plain view, waiting to be found. Ours is a rich history, and as we take what has been given to us, combined with the discoveries from our research, we are once again standing as a strong people proclaiming our birthright. Beginning with tradition, we transmit our customs and beliefs to our Folk and our descendants. Next, we recreate our ancient religion while adapting it to the current age within which we live. Lastly, as our traditions form into a cohesive and working belief system, we develop an applicable spiritual lifestyle that meets the needs of the individual, as well as the collective. In doing this, we rise above the destructive elements that have hindered our Folk for the past thousand years or more.
8. As an ethnic belief, we recognize that this is merely the Membership requirement of our Clans and Tribes, and should not reflect an obsession with these ideas, but rather should be the catalyst by which we give our people their own spirituality and tradition. There are many who form judgments upon others incorrectly based upon preconceived notions, whether from their own misunderstandings or misinformation given to them. The idea of supremacy and imperialism is foreign to our creed, as our ancestors were the very first to stand against the might of Rome and the elitist paradigm it offered. We, as polytheists, celebrate the diversity of all peoples and promote the freedoms of every culture and ethnicity to celebrate and practice their own heritage in whatever way suits them. Each people has their own special identity and that identity must be cherished by both those that can claim it, and those on the outside looking in. Preservation of the diverse tapestry of all cultures is what makes up the beauty of the human experience, and as such should be sacred to us all. Therefore, we do not believe that our way is the way for all, only that it is the way for us.
9. Our school encompasses our entire identity. We are it, and it is us. We believe that what makes up a person is the sum of his or her beliefs and actions. In the sense that we are who we think we are, we are also that which results from our actions. In essence: we are our deeds. Words can proclaim many things to many people over a lifetime; however, if those words are not backed up by action, they are meaningless. Our school of thought, i.e. our beliefs, and the Epicist methodology used to back-up our beliefs, define who we are, collectively and individually. Not only are we who we say we are, but we are what our actions show us to be– this is honor; it is living by a code of conduct and holding to a standard of morals as our ancestors before us, our Folk amongst us, and for our descendants after us.
10. The Hierology is our way of life.
Every religion has sacred written lore, or hierology, that forms the basis for their traditions, religion, and spirituality. Where Hindus have the Vedas and Upanishads, the Japanese Shinto have the Kojiki and Nihon-gi, and the Egyptians had their Book of the Dead, we have the Poetic Edda and Skaldic Poetry, from which we have developed our sacred epic. These texts were written prior to the Christian conversions and we view them as primary sources that form the basis of our methodology. The texts composed after the Christian conversions are secondary sources,and must be viewed with skepticism and handled with discernment. The Poetic Edda and Skaldic Poetry are Old Norse poems written in Iceland and Scandinavia before the coming of Christianity,and provide an insightful look into the worldview of our ancestors. In light of this, these texts provide a foundation to build our traditions, religion, and spirituality.
11. We do not accept or practice syncretism in any way, shape, or form. We have a pantheon that is of our people and thus it is disingenuous and disrespectful to devalue our system by inviting foreign elements.
As an ethnic faith, we are not interested in, nor do we seek, to amalgamate different foreign Traditions, Religions, and Spiritual practices into our belief system. This is not to denigrate nor disparage foreign Schools of Thought, but to celebrate the richness of our own heritage. Each people, dating thousands of years, have unique, and complex, inherent belief systems, each with their own Gods and Goddesses, systems of morality, and world creation and destruction accounts; and we are no different. The beauty of diversification is the freedom for each cultural group to retain the uniqueness that makes them who they are.
12. Family is the epicenter of everything we do and children are our most precious, cherished, and protected commodity; therefore, as a mandate, we must always strive to grow our Folk. Unless physically unavoidable, childlessness is unacceptable.
Our path is one that is centered around the family; structuring our lives around the family unit. That which builds up the Folk is the core of the Sedian ideal. For a society to be strong, healthy, and prosperous, there must be a solid foundation upon which to build; this is the family– consisting of a Father, Mother, and children. Each family member maintains his or her role, thus ensuring the propagation of the Folk. Parentally, the Father and Mother work in unison to provide protection, give sustenance and shelter, nurturing, and the education and tools necessary to carry on the family traditions and Folkways. Without the strong marriage-union of a man and woman, there would be no children, which is why children are so valuable and integral to our people. Children ensure the numerical replacement of the parents and provide for the growth of the Folk, which ensures that our Folk not only survives but thrives.
13. Fatalism is a sacred tenet of our ancestral ways. As such, we recognize that law and order are the foundations of our beliefs, and to deny this is a rejection of the decrees of the Norns and the Gods.
Fatalism holds that events are subjected to fate, i.e., that actions are predetermined. As our sacred Lore records in Völuspá 20, the Norns "established laws, allotted life to the sons of men, and established örlög (destiny)." As such, we submit ourselves to the will of the Norns, the Gods, and the Goddesses. This does not turn us into automatons that have every decision we make forced upon us by some dictatorial force, but rather demonstrates to us that we are all a part of something greater than ourselves. Throughout our lives, we are continually being guided and directed toward certain actions and events that are out of our control; however, how we handle these situations and events is up to us. In every path there are forks in the road that allow us to decide whether we wish to be honorable or dishonorable, if we want to have integrity and help others or if we wish to be selfish and cruel. If we are to strive towards the order of our beloved deities we will always seek the path of decency and compassion.
14. We have Nine Virtues: Honor, Honesty, Wisdom, Piety, Courage, Loyalty, Independence, Generosity, and Kindness. Live by them and live in the light of the Gods. As people of high culture, we continually strive to be the best that we can be and rise above the mundane and the mediocre. We achieve this by setting before us a standard to live by, and it is within this code of conduct that we define our honor. In all that we do we remain honorable and strive toward a relationship of honesty and integrity. We seek to obtain knowledge and when understanding comes we measure our actions with wisdom, thus ensuring the integrity of the code and of ourselves. As a pious and religious people we honor the Holy Powers, and as a proud Folk of strong stock, we are courageous; for without courage, we lack the strength to uphold the code. To our family, Clan, Tribe, and Folk, we pledge loyalty, yet maintain our independence as free men and women. In all things, we build up our people through generosity and freely giving, within our means, to those in need. Whether they are in our innangarð (inner-circle) or the útangarð (outer-circle), we will treat all people with kindness, respect, and compassion, unless given a reason to act otherwise. This is the Code of Nine Virtues.
15. We have Nine Vices: Murder, Perjury, Adultery, Thievery, Greed, Slander, Sacrilege,Treason, and Cruelty. Violate the tenets of the Gods and face judgment accordingly. Conversely, we recognize that there are those that reject the Code of the Nine Virtues. These are the níðings, the dishonorable. When these people sink to the more chaotic elements of human nature and become slaves to their desires, they fail to recognize the importance of a code of conduct. These are the people who murder out of passion or personal interest; they deceive for personal gain or willfully lie after taking an oath. The níð violates the sanctity of marriage and commits adultery, thus desecrating the honor of the one who pledged loyalty. They take what is not theirs from the greed that builds up within them, rather than celebrate with those who have what they desire. Akin to dishonesty, they work toward the detriment of others through false testimony, thus destroying any trust one might have in them. Through treasonous acts, they betray their Folk through selfish action while disregarding the consequences their actions have on those around them. Above all, they show cruelty, disregarding the pain and suffering their actions cause others. This is the Code of Nine Vices; violators will face judgment.
16. We perform blót as a sacred exchange between önd and óðr. Understanding this is pivotal to our spirituality.
As reverent acts toward our Higher Powers, namely the Norns, the Gods and Goddesses, and the Álfar, we perform Blóts, or ritual sacrifices, as physical manifestations of our worship. These rituals range from the consecration and offering of an animal before boiling the meat and giving thanks during the feast, to a libation over and into the sacred elements of earth, air, fire, or water. In this holy act, we participate in the sacred exchange between our gift of Spirit (önd), given to us by Odin and our Soul (óðr), given to us by Hœnir. In the act of communicating with the Higher Powers, the transmission of our will is heard by the Gods, as we activate our óðr through the inspiration of our önd, thus bridging the gap between us and the divine.
17. We understand that the foundation of our religion is education and will not accept leaders or stations that are not backed by credentials from sacred learning institutions. As with any philosophy, ideology, or religion, one cannot merely rely on personal gnosis alone and retain any sense of credibility. Nor can one solely rely on the information presented by mainstream scholars who do not hold to the faith to which they study. Many scholars and academics, having differing sets of worldviews from ours, interpret our Lore through the lens of a foreign observer and therefore lack the ability to properly understand and contextually interpret the ancient texts. Some hold to the Biblical School of Thought, which forces our Lore through the lens of Christian writings. Others interpret them through the Euhemerist School of Thought, which interprets them through the lens of denying the divinity of our pantheon and equating them to men and women who rose to prominence and were deified. Others still might interpret our Lore by the Nature School of Thought, which equates our pantheon to natural forces within the physical world. The Sedian way is the Epicist way, which from its very inception developed a method of research by looking at this as a religion, and examined these ways through a psychological understanding of religious ideals and their evolution. As such The Norroena Society has the Kvasir Academy, an academic institution of higher learning meant to provide education and credentials for those worthy to become true leaders of our Folk.
18. Our belief is in Immanent Divinity and the denial of the Supernatural. There is only Nature.
The Supernatural, a term used to describe that which is outside of nature, is often invoked as a method of deflection from those who lack the knowledge and understanding to rationalize or explain. Within our circles we will seek to do away with obfuscating surrenders to ignorance. Within the doctrine of immanence, it is believed that the spiritual world pervades our physical world. We believe that our Gods created this world and the cosmology in which it rests, and that all things, including the Divine, exist subject to logical principles. There is no First Cause. There was no beginning, nor shall there be a final end. All things work within the nature of cycles. Just as the Gods were created, so are we. There is only birth, life, death, and rebirth, that all things are subject to eternal recurrence and, therefore, if something cannot be created nor destroyed, then it is eternal, i.e. it has always been and always will be.