In modern Asatru, many of us may run into people who claim that the Gods are simply archetypes, or characters, who exist only as storybook examples to be followed in some vague way. This is incorrect, and frankly, nothing more than a winding path to atheism.
Our ancestors did not view the Gods as mere archetypes. This is immediately evident in any saga or story. The pre-Christian Europeans regularly spoke with the Gods, exchanged gifts, dedicated deeds to them, etc, and that's without getting into the idea that the Gods reciprocate these things with us.
I am going to share a very personal story with you all, one that hopefully illustrates that the Gods are real and do acknowledge us through the gifting cycle.
In 2019, the local branch of "Antifa" found that I had gone to a rally protesting the removal of Confederate monuments. My name and face were blasted all over national media from April to late December, as they tried to attack me for my faith as well as my love for my southern heritage. Through this period, I lost friends and even family. Much of my world decided to stand with domestic terrorists and estrogen-laden "journalists" against me.
I eventually fell into something of a spiritual rut. I began to ask myself if our Gods were even real, and if I should instead be following Christianity. I decided that I would ask the Abrahamic deity for a sign. If he would give me even a single sign, I would dedicate my life to him and become "normal"...
I was given no such sign. The silence was beyond deafening. Even things that could have been interpreted as signs seemed to steer clear of me during this time.
So, the next night, I asked our All-Father Odin for a sign. I asked him to show me that I was on the right path and that I was doing the right thing for my Folk. I went to bed right after asking for this sign, and was awakened a few hours later by howling winds. I cannot overstate how powerful these winds sounded! However, I was the only one in the house who woke up to them. My wife stayed sleeping, while I got up and went outside to feel the wind. When I stepped outside, I felt the wind, saw that the moon was full and the stars were bright, and I was instantly assured that the Gods are real, and that the AFA was doing things right.
That event was four years ago, and my faith has not wavered ever since, but it has grown stronger every single day. We have gained three more Hofs, and even our own plot of land for Sigrheim and Tyrshof. We have given praise and gifts to the Gods, and they have returned it a thousand times over.
The Gods are real. The AFA is right and true, and we will continue to have victory so long as we continue to honor the High and Holy Æsir.
Gothi Trent East