The Odinic Rite (OR) is a folkish Heathen organisation practicing a form of religion termed Odinism after the chief god of Norse mythology, Odin. It is a reconstructionist religious organization focusing on Germanic paganism, Germanic mythology, Norse paganism, and Anglo-Saxon paganism. They believe that only people of a white European background should be able to worship the Norse pantheon, stating that while this was not a stance taken by heathens prior to Christianisation, it is required in modern societies to maintain "racial integrity".[1]

Logo of the Odinic Rite.
Odinic Rite Sun-Wheel


Current research suggests that the term "Odinism" was first used in the 1820s. It was most notably used in 1840 by the Scottish writer, historian, and philosopher, Thomas Carlyle where it is used on pages 138 and 144 of his book, On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History: "Odinism was Valour; Christianism was humility, a nobler kind of Valour."[citation needed]

It was later used, and often mistakenly referred to as being coined by, Orestes Brownson in 1848, in his 1848 Letter to Protestants.[2] The term was re-introduced in the late 1930s by Alexander Rud Mills in Australia with his First Anglecyn Church of Odin and his book, The Call of Our Ancient Nordic Religion.[3] In the 1960s and early 1970s, Else Christensen's Odinist Study Group and later the Odinist Fellowship brought the term into usage in North America.[citation needed]

Today the Odinic Rite defines Odinism as the modern day expression of the ancient religions which grew and evolved with the Indo-European peoples who settled in Northern Europe and came to be known as "Germanic". The Odinic Rite shuns such descriptions as "Viking religion" or "Asatru" insisting that the Viking era was just a very small period in the history and evolution of the faith.[4]


In 1973 John Gibbs-Bailey (known as "Hoskuld") and John Yeowell (known as "Stubba", 1918–2010) founded the Committee for the Restoration of the Odinic Rite or Odinist Committee in England.[5] Yeowell had been a member of the British Union of Fascists in his teens (1933–1936).[6] In 1980 the organisation changed its name to The Odinic Rite after it was believed that it had gained enough significant interest in the restoration of the Odinic faith.[citation needed]

In 1989 Yeowell resigned as Director of the OR's governing body, the Court of Gothar. The Court then unanimously elected Jeffrey Holley (known as "Heimgest") as its Director and he was officially installed in this position on 23 April 1989 at the White Horse Stone in Kent. He was professed by Freya Aswynn.[7] Prior to his involvement with the Odinic Rite Heimgest had belonged to a small group known as the Heimdal League,[8] a closed group which disbanded in the mid-1980s. Some members of this group joined Heimgest in moving to the OR as they considered it had "the potential to best present the ancestral religion of Odinism to the modern world".[9] Heimgest remains the Director of the Court of Gothar.[citation needed]

John Yeowell resigned from the Court of Gothar entirely in 1991 and left the Odinic Rite. At the same time an expelled member of the OR, Ralph Harrison (known as "Ingvar") set up a rival Odinist organization, the Odinist Fellowship using the post office box name "Edda" as opposed to the official group's box name of "Runic" which is still in use by the OR today. In 1996 Yeowell was accepted back into the official OR. He died in 2010.[citation needed]


The OR has national branches in France (ORF), North America (ORV, 1997) and the Netherlands (ORN, 2006)[10] and individual members spread over many other countries. A German chapter was formed in 1994 but became independent in 2004 and changed its name to the Verein für germanisches Heidentum in 2006.[11] The Odinic Rite has legal status in the United Kingdom, and the United States. The completely independent Odinic Rite of Australia has legal status in Australia.[citation needed]


The OR website has a disclaimer to the effect that they are politically neutral and that members who involve themselves in political activity do so as private individuals not as representatives of the Odinic Rite. [12] However, many prominent members, including their charity directors have links to the far right and regularly post anti-immigration content on their public social media platforms.[citation needed]


The Odinic Rite describes itself as a folkish group, which it states centres on a stance that includes "racial preservation and promotion", "pride in [racial] heritage" and to "have as many healthy children as is practical". They only allow white members and discourages mixed race relationships, claiming that this is a necessary precaution to maintain "racial integrity" and to prevent "crossed allegiances". The group describes Odinism as "a vehicle for the evolution of the race" and draws analogies between invasive species and immigrants, claiming that the latter threaten the survival of the white population.[1][13]

The Odinic Rite further encourages its members to live their lives according to the Nine Noble Virtues and the Nine Charges which the group claims were "codified by the Rite's founders from The Hávamál and The Sigrdrífomál [sic] (poems from the Elder Edda) in the early 1970's [sic]".[14]


The Book of Blotar is a book of rituals published by the Odinic Rite for the purposes of celebrating Odinism.The Book of Blots is a 1991 book of rituals written by John Yeowell and published by the Odinic Rite.[citation needed] An unauthorised second edition was published in 2014 by the independent Odinic Rite of Australia [15]

In popular cultureEdit

In 1997 the Director of Gothar, Heimgest, chanted rune names on the Sol Invictus album The Blade.[16]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "WHAT IT MEANS TO BE FOLKISH". Odinic Rite. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  2. ^ The Works of Orestes A. Brownson: Containing the Second Part of the Political Writings, ed. Henry Francis Brownson, T. Nourse (1884), p. 257
  3. ^ Mills, Alexander Rud (1957). The Call of Our Ancient Nordic Religion. Northern World Pub.
  4. ^ "Odinism - A Defining Moment". A talk by Hengest Thorsson, later published in Odinic Rite Briefing, issue 113, 2009
  5. ^ Pagan Resurrection by Richard Rudgley (2006) p.240
  6. ^ Osred, "A multi-faceted life", obituary originally (2010) published in the Friends of Oswald Mosley newsletter, re-published in This is Odinism, Renewal Publications (2016), p. 105
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-25. Retrieved 2014-02-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Pagan Resurrection by Richard Rudgley(2006)p.239
  9. ^ personal conversation with Heimgest
  10. ^ Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Krebel, Sebastian (2014). Weil Gott die wunderbare Vielfalt liebt. Modernes Heidentum in Deutschland. Ethnographische Erkundungen [Because God loves the wonderful diversity. Modern paganism in Germany. Ethnographic explorations] (PDF) (PhD) (in German). University of Erfurt. p. 140. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  12. ^ Odinic Rite FAQ Archived 2011-01-05 at the Wayback Machine - Does the Odinic Rite take a political viewpoint?
  13. ^ "Grey Squirrel Folk Allegory". The Odinic Rite. 18 September 2020. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  14. ^ Nine Noble Virtues and Nine Charges from the [1] Archived 2010-05-13 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^
  16. ^ Sol Invictus, the Blade, review Archived 2007-03-16 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit