I had a poll on Patreon which indicated that people wanted me to do some posts on going from Christianity to Heathenry. If you’re new to Heathenry, you may not know all the reasons why Heathenry is that much better than Christianity. In this post, I give you five excellent reasons why Heathenry is better than Christianity.
1. Heathenry Doesn’t Have Sins
Heathens don’t have to worry about sins, because there aren’t any in Heathenry. Yes, we have the 9 Noble Virtues and whatnot, but when it comes to someone judging us, that just doesn’t happen. It doesn’t mean that Heathens don’t have rules they have to obey when it comes to morality, but they are more interested in honor, oaths, and behaving correctly than worrying about whether someone will judge us because we weren’t as nice as we could be with our family or we told white lies.
If there’s anything like sin in Heathenry, it’s oathbreaking, murder, and adultery. Then, the bad guys end up having their corpses gnawed on by Níðhǫggr the dragon/serpent in Nastrond, presumably when the dragon isn’t gnawing on Yggdrasil’s root.
Christianity, on the other hand, has sin. Big time. Lie? That’s a sin that could damn your soul. Talk back to your parents? Sin. Swear using “God” or “Jesus Christ,” and you’ve blasphemed. Going to hell for sure without some sort of absolution. The Catholics are big into the confessional and sacraments. Without those, you’re definitely on the eternal punishment list.
2. Heathenry has Hel, but it’s Not a Place of Torment
When people die, they go to a place of rest in Helheim. If they die in battle, they go either to Freyja’s Fólkvangr or Odin’s Valhalla. Freyja gets the first choice of those who die in battle. The rest join Odin at Valhalla for fighting and feasting.
Some of the dead go to the halls of their patron gods or goddesses. Only the really evil people end up in Nastrond to be gnawed upon by Níðhǫggr. (Oathbreakers, adulterers, and murderers.) What do the people in Helheim do? They do the same things they did when they were on Earth, but it is more peaceful and not as hard on them.
Christianity has heaven, hell, and purgatory. Heaven for those whom their god deems worthy to hang out with. Hell for just about everyone else. Purgatory for those who have sinned a little or who had the bad luck of not getting baptized, having original sin. With the exception of purgatory, heaven and hell are eternal.
3. You Have More Than One Soul
It seems incredibly odd in the Christian context, but Heathens believe we have more than one soul. I’ve seen several different writings that pertain to the soul, but from what I can gather, our souls consist of the hugr (reason), mynd (memory– I’ve also seen minni), hamingja (luck), fylgja (fetch), hamr (the skin or physical body), and ørlög (deeds upon which fate is based). There are probably others that I haven’t quite sussed out yet, but those seem to be the main ones. Yeah, I probably skipped over some. Deal with it.
These souls are tied together and get split apart once we die. Some go to our resting place, either Helheim or one of the halls of the gods; others stay on this Earth to be reincarnated into another body. The hamingja and the fylgia are typically reincarnated when we die. Hamingja or luck–both good and bad–can often follow families or clans. Hugr and mynd generally go to our afterlife. Other parts of ourselves die such as the hamr and the lic (which is the body).
Christianity believes you have one soul and the fate of that soul depends on whether you believe in their god and behave the way their god wants you to behave. Screw up and you pretty much go to hell.
4. You Don’t Have to Proselytize
One of the nice things about being a Heathen is you don’t have to convert anyone. In fact, conversion is something we don’t do because we pretty much figure you’ll either figure it out on your own or you won’t. There are other gods and other religions to check out if you’re not into believing in our gods. We believe what we believe, and if you want to believe, well fine. If you don’t, that’s okay too. We’ll all find out in the end who’s right and who’s not. Or if the atheists are right, we won’t know and won’t care anyway.
Our lives focus on the here and now rather than whether we get eternal rewards or torture. We are concerned with our honor and the way we behave, not because someone is going to punish us, but because we are our deeds.
Christians, on the other hand, require that they not only believe in their god, but they also must “spread the good news.” Many flavors of Christianity require that their followers go out and annoy other people in order to convert them.
5. Don’t Relate to One God? You Have Others
In Christianity, you have the Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Don’t relate to that god? Well, if you’re Catholic or Episcopalian, you have saints, but beyond that, if you don’t relate to their god, you’re pretty much screwed.
Heathenry has several gods, the wights, and the ancestors to talk to. Not a fan of Odin and Thor? Try one of the other gods or goddesses that resonate with you. Not interested in the gods? There are land spirits and ancestors. You can make friends with the wights and ancestors and use their knowledge and inspiration to help you.
There are many other reasons why Heathenry is better than Christianity, but I challenged myself with five reasons. You may have other reasons I haven’t mentioned. Tell me about them in the comments.