áspédan ţéod

Home | The Peace Maker | test - main | test | Preserving Wood | Housing: Sod Igloo | Chickens: Permaculture Feed | Storing Nails | Security: Analysis of a Mugging | Tengwar | Havamal | Tribal: Tribal Dynamics - Abstract | Alaska: Subsistence Homesteading | Alaska: Agriculture Industry in Alaska | Recipes | Alaska: Major Ag Product Categories | Alaska: Seeds | Tribal: Sacred Enclosures | Model Constitution | Bog Iron | Stock and Drop | Age of Salvage Socities | Child Rearing: In Favor of Sheltering | 4 Billion | Planning for a Post-Oil Economy | Peak Oil and the Problem of Infrastructure | Food Storage | Book List | Oil Press | 100 Items That Disappear First | Cooking Heating and Lighting | Emergency Grain Mill | Outdoor Oven | Hobo Stove | Sharpening | Grain | Growing Feed | Reproductive | Childbirth | Abatis | Self-Sufficiency for Six | Homemade Cosmetics | Dutch Oven | 120/Village | Pests | Brewing | Links | Weapons: Making a Sling | Weapons: Slingshot 1 | Weapons: Slingshot 2 | Weapons: Slingshot 2 | Construction: Building Masonry Cookstoves | Heating: Emergency Wood Heat | Heating: Solar Heating Plan for Any Home | 10 Steps to Localization | Surviving In The City | Tribal: Modern Asatru/Germanic | German Shepherd ears | Alternative Lighting: Plant Oils and Waxes | Enlightened Survivalism | Quarterstaff | How Cheaply We Could Live | Life After The Crash | What To Do? | Survival Steps/Individual Level | 21 Strategies for Creating an Emergency Fund | Where to Live/Collapse Survival | Collapse on a Budget Part I | Collapse Survival on a Budget Part II | Collapse Survival on a Budget Part III | Commandments of Saving Money | Natural Remedies | Household Tips | How To Plan For An Emergency | Coming Collapse: A Community Checklist | Cap and Ball | Emergency Supplies/Kits | How To Prepare for an Emergency | Straw Bale on a Budget | Probable Timeline | Off Road | Storing Gasoline | Urban Invisibility | Pet Health/Nutrition | Zeer Pot | Rabbits | Making Charcoal

Tribal: Modern Asatru/Germanic

Neo-Tribalism in Modern Asatru and Germanic Heathenry

by Swain Wodening Canote

The Purpose

Modern tribalism within Germanic Heathenry seeks to create groups that are more community minded and have a more solid common identity. To many, a group that is more community may not necessarily be desirable. But to many in the Heathen community to have friends and family there that you share a common bond with, that you can fall back on for support in your beliefs and in your daily life is felt needed. Tribalism does not sacrifice the identity of the individual to the group, anymore than a local kindred does, or those organizations with more modern corporate structures. If anything it does the opposite by allowing each full member of the tribal group more say in the day to day running of the organization. There is no corporate board running things for you and basing choices on one annual meeting.

To accomplish the purpose of creating a more community minded group, organizations using a tribal structure usually exclude those that they feel will not work well within the group, or more generally, those they feel may be a threat to its members. There is very sound reasoning for this.

Within any group, it doesn't matter if it is the Lions Club or the Elks or the Roman Catholic church, there is a chance of attracting the dangerously mentally ill, child molestors, serial killers, and such ilk. A group needs to be able to keep out such people that might be a threat to its members or children. What if, for example, a child molestor wanted to join a kindred? Should they be allowed to on the grounds of their rights as a human being? What about someone known to have conducted a smear campaign against an upstanding member of the Heathen community, or a self avowed Nazi?

Tribal organizations only differ from non-tribal in their exclusive behaviour in that they have mechanisms to keep such folks from joining. Tribal groups rarely blackball anyone simply over personal differences and get away with it. But at the same time the some non-tribal organizations because of their disclaimers on not excluding people could legally be forced to admit a convicted serial rapist that has served their time. Tribal organizations because they give thier groups the right to exclude, cannot be.

Beyond giving members a right to decide who is or is not in the tribe, tribal groups also try to create tribal traditions and rites. Many of these are based on ancient Heathenry, while others may be new innovations. Sometimes they are started by accident. It really does not make much difference. Such traditions are meant to give a stronger sense of common identity. Finally, most tribal groups try to create a uniform moral code based on the ancient moral codes. This along with a strong belief in and understanding of the word frith solidify the ideal of common identity as a tribe.

The Structure of Tribal Groups within Germanic Heathenry

Inherent in tribalism structurally are 1) an elected head or chief. 2) A democratically run tribal council. The chief can be elected for a term or life, and the council can take the form of a representative council or the entire adult oathed membership. This is the true core of neo-tribalism. Nothing else needs be added to the structure of the organization to make it tribal.

Within tribal societies however, within any group of any numbers, a hierarchy soon develops. This happens in any organization or group and seems almost to be instinctive. Usually when such hierarchies develop however, they are not based on service to the group or wisdom and experience. Often they develop merely because of popularity. To keep this from destroying the neo-tribe's democratic structure, some groups have instigated arungs or ranks. These are not like military ranks or noble titles. All within the tribe remain equal, and if not considered equal, are considered to have the same rights. In this way they are closer to grades in High School (Freshman, Sophomore, and so forth) or college degrees. Not all tribal organizations handle it this way. In some they may be closer to military ranks, others, noble titles. But all tribal groups have rights that are granted to all full members regardless of station. That is all have a basic rights that cannot be violated as these rights were and are a core belief of Germanic Heathenry.

In essence, ranks are a way of telling who has more experience. It does not mean they have more say in the running of the organization per se, but simply that some folks have been around longer. Ideally such a hierarchy or anti- hierarchy would be organic. Realistically however favouritism would creep in and ruin the system. Whether or not a group has ranks however, does not determine if it is or is not a tribal organization.

Core Beliefs of a Tribal Group

The current tribal groups within Germanic Heathenry for the most part share some common beliefs.

Innangardhs/utangarths: The idea of innangardhs/utangarths is based on the ancient Heathen mindset concerning the tribe. The tribal group is viewed as an enclosure. This enclosure is made up of smaller enclosures, that is, communities, and family units. The most important group of any tribe would be its families. All outside the enclosure is seen as not effecting its existence, unless it intrudes. If an intrusion is friendly, no problem. If it is not friendly, the tribe reacts to defend its self. This core belief in the tribe as an enclosure is related to many of the other core beliefs in tribal orlog, "luck", and even frith.

Frith: The word frith derives from Indo-European *priyas, "one's own." Many other words derive from this root word such as Old English freogan "to love," freodom "freedom," and Old Norse Freyr, the god. According to most Old English dictionaries, the word frith meant "peace, tranquility, security, or refuge." It also referred to the special protection offered by the tribe and the penalty for breaching that protection. A verb form, frithian meant "to make peace with, cherish, guard, defend, or keep." For the Heathen neo-tribe it means the peace and security that must be maintained to ensure the group's prosperity. A breach of frith can affect the group's luck and orlog.

Tribal Orlog and Maegen ("luck"): Just as individuals have maegen ("hamingja" or "luck") that is determined by their deeds, and an orlog that determines the course their lives will take (again based on their deeds), tribal organizations feel as a whole they do too. As such, the orlog and maegen of a group are determined by its actions as a collective whole. This was the earliest theological basis for Heathen law. Law was seen as that which was laid down in the Well of Wyrd ot guide the tribe.

These beliefs along with the standard beliefs of Asatru and Germanic Heathenry in the Gods, wights, and Wyrd form the core of neo-tribalism To read more on them, it is suggested you read the relevant sections of the Ealdriht Handbook.

Geographical Proximity

Ideally even a neo-tribe would live in the same area. This helps strengthen the tribal identity, and gives a chance for weekly if not day to day interaction. However, this has not often worked out. The Angelseaxisce Ealdriht, one of the larger tribal organizations has strove for formng Maethels and Mots "micro-tribes" if you will with a small degree of success. However, it has not been on a scale to see if it indeed would work any better than members spread across a wide area. Theodish Belief's Frisian Rice is very localized as well, and this may account for their numbers (they are one of the larger Theodish groups). It is hoped however, that tribal groups will be able to form on a geogrpahical basis. In theory, any local kndred that uses a tribal council, has its own traditions, and an elected chief could be thought neo-tribal. If that is the case, many Asatruar are already practicing neo-tribalism.


Neo-tribalism is not far different from typical modern Germanic Heathenry or Asatru. The primary differences lie in how they are governed and sometimes (but not always) the addition of some form of ranking system. Even then groups have a wide range of how they operate ranking system. Most do however seem to cater more to the individual members than other groups and try to keep a balance of group and individual interests.