Odinist Fellowship

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The Odinist Fellowship is an Odinist religious organization which has recognition as a registered charity in the UK.

There was also an early Odinist organization founded by Else Christensen and her husband Alex Christensen in Canada in 1969.

USA[edit]

Initially called the Odinist Study Group, Christensen's group was renamed the Odinist Fellowship in approximately 1971, around the time of Alex's death. Else's relocation to Florida, United States. came in the 1980s.

For many years, The Odinist Fellowship published a periodical called The Odinist out of Canada and Crystal River, Florida. Additionally, her travels included friendly contact with other groups, such as the large Arizona Kindred (where she met up with the Kindred's "Norsemen of Midgard" motorcycle club) and the Steve McNallen's Asatru Folk Assembly. Since Else died in 2005, her Odinist Fellowship dissolved, with much of the membership transferring to the Odinic Rite.[1] The last known chapter of the US Odinist Fellowship was based in Florida, and was called the Kindred Folk, but is no longer operational.

UK[edit]

The Odinist Fellowship is one of the leading Odinist societies in Great Britain, promoting the old religion of the English and related northern European peoples. It was registered as a religious charity in 1988[2] and is the only Odinist denomination to be registered as a religious charity under English and Scottish law. The Odinist Fellowship was the first polytheistic religious organisation to be granted "Registered Charity" status in the UK. The British-based Odinist Fellowship is not affiliated in any way with the former American organization of the same name.

The aim of the Odinist Fellowship, according to its constitution is "to practise, promote and propagate Odinism. By Odinism is meant the original, indigenous form of heathen, polytheistic religion and spiritual beliefs, practised by the ancestors of the English and related northern European peoples, as embodied in the Eddas and as they have found expression in the wisdom and in the historical experience of those peoples." The Odinist Fellowship, according to its website, claims that Odinism is England's "native and national faith".

Odinists practise a nine-fold calendar and the Odinist Fellowship's liturgy of worship and sacrifices are published in "The Book of Rites". The nine festivals are Yule (or the Winter Solstice), Lindisfarne Day (8 January), Easter (Spring Equinox), Sigurd's Day (23 April), Hengest's Day (1 May), Midsummer (Summer Solstice), Odinist Martyrs' Day (or Stiklestad Day, 29 July), Harvest Festival (Autumn Equinox), and Einheriar (or Heroes' Day on 11 November).[3]

A notable achievement of the British Odinist Fellowship was to gain legal recognition for the Odinist religion in the case of "Holden v Royal Mail PLC(2006)", when a ruling was made to declare that Odinism is to be recognized as a religion for the purposes of anti-discrimination legislation.[4]

According to its website, the Odinist Fellowship is planning to "institute a network of [Odinist] temples in every [English] county, and in every major town and city up and down the land". This objective marked a notable success in Midsummer 2014 when the first Odinist Temple of modern times was consecrated in Newark-on-Trent, Notthinghamshire. The Newark Odinist Temple (formerly Bede House Chapel) is a 16th Century stone-built chapel now open to visitors.[5]

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