Frequently Asked Questions and Frequently Referenced Policies
The contents of this page are Troth policies. Please also see our Position Statement, which may answer some questions in more detail.
What is The Troth?
The Troth exists in order to celebrate our religious and cultural heritage, rather than to promote political, racial, social or other agendas; membership in the Troth and participation in our activities is open to worthy folks regardless of race, ethnic origin, gender or sexual orientation, and we do not permit discrimination on these grounds in the activities of the Troth or any of its affiliated groups.
If you feel drawn to the ways of the Heathen North, and would like to participate in our growing community, we invite you to drop us a line at the e-mail addresses listed here. Help us in the challenging work of restoring the Elder Troth to a proud, open and active role in our society, culture and world. The old gods are calling; to hear their call is a joy, an honor, and also a duty.
If they are calling to you, it is time to take your place among friends and kin, and bring new honor and strength to our ancient heathen faith.
What or whom do you worship?
The Troth is dedicated to exploring, practicing and promoting the pre-Christian religion of the Germanic peoples, who include the English, Norse, Icelanders, Swedes and Germans, among others. We are loyal to the gods and goddesses of the Northlands, such as Odin, Thor, Frigga, Tyr, Holle, and many others.
What about Loki?
As of January 1, 2019, the ban on hailing Loki has been rescinded on an organizational level (Motion 4.07 Q42018). TKP kindreds retain sovereignty to determine content of Troth-sponsored rituals that they host, including whom it is appropriate to hail at a given ritual, insofar as the determination is consistent with the organization's Position Statement (4.11/16.06 Q42018). Leaders of other rituals outside of the Idunna Blót (where only Idunna may be hailed; 4.10 Q42018) and Grand Sumbel (open for all hailing consistent with Position Statement) will determine the rules and content of their rituals.
Are there defining beliefs in this religion?
This religion is known by various names, including Ásatrú, Heathenry, the Elder Troth, Urglaawe, Forn Sed, Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, and many others. Although there are many variations in beliefs and practices within this faith, and many ways of describing and classifying these differences, we all share a defining personal loyalty to, or "Troth" with, the gods and goddesses of the Northlands and a deep respect for our Germanic religious, cultural and historical heritage.
What is The Troth's policy on same-sex marriage?
Troth Godpersons may not refuse to perform any rituals (with exceptions, noted below) on the sole grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation or any other divisive criteria.
Marriage or Unions
A Godperson is not only within his or her rights, but morally obligated, to refuse to perform a marriage rite in any of the following situations:
- If the relationship is clearly and visibly abusive.
- If one or both of the participants are legally underage.
- If the laws of the state would class even an unregistered ceremony as contributory to bigamy.
- If one or both of the participants is demonstrably incapable of making and keeping the oaths of marriage due to a psychological, emotional or intellectual handicap.
What about "reclaiming the swastika?"
The Troth's swastika policy is a done deal.
The organization does not believe that the swastika can be "reclaimed" or "rehabilitated."
It is as simple as that.
That symbol has caused too much pain to be reclaimed, and, instead of being frustrated by the people who recognize this fact, all anger should be directed toward the people who corrupted the symbol and who continue to utilize it to inflict pain today. In-fighting over a lost symbol merely continues to weaken the cause. The swastika is lost.
Heathenry will survive without it. In fact, inclusive Heathenry is more likely to advance if we stop trying to reclaim it and focus on protecting the symbols we do have and on advancing public awareness and knowledge of what we have to offer as a religion. This policy also applies to the Black Sun, winged Odal and Wolfsangel symbols.
To allow discussion of reclaiming a symbol used to commit genocide and murder of people in WW2 and that is still being used by white supremacy today, is to support a non inclusive environment, which is contrary to our role not to use the religion to promote white supremacy. (43.06 Q42017)
What is the Troth's stance on beards, head coverings, and special diets?
Although the Troth itself imposes no dietary, dress, or other such requirements on its membership as a whole, we recognize and respect the religious beliefs of our individual members regarding bodily autonomy and any vows, pledges, oaths, and affirmations therein.
For some Heathens, core tenets of their religious practice involve specific clothing, grooming, and other standards of action.
We support their right to follow the tenets of their sincerely-held and professed beliefs within reasonable accommodations as established under the law.
Does The Troth enforce its rules on personal practice or opinion outside of its halls or events?
No. Except for Rede and Officers who are deemed to represent it, The Troth holds to “roof-beam thew," or the concept that in each person’s hall (under their roof beams) their own personal practice remains supreme. The Troth holds a collective thew or custom that we practice beneath when together at events, and whose customs bind our discussions and define frithful conditions and conduct inside our halls, both event halls and electronic gatherings and communications. This thew binds The Troth when we gather together but does not bind or restrict your personal practice in your own halls, or another’s.
We expect the members of The Troth to support our stance on Inclusive Heathenry as well as our Mission and Position statements. (3.08 Q42017)
Clergy may refuse to perform or compose rituals under the following circumstances
- When the Godperson feels a significant degree of doubt about the ethical or moral appropriateness of the ritual (such as the reasons to refuse to perform a marriage, listed above)
- In the case of man- or woman-making, the Godperson cannot perform the bulk of the ceremony for a subject of the opposite gender. However he or she should be able to assist and facilitate the performance of such a ritual by a person of the appropriate gender.
- If the ritual is public, Troth-related, and directly opposes the Troth's stated mission or position.
How do I join?
The direct link to join is here. You can pay via Paypal or you can mail the paper form with a check to our office.
What do I get with membership?
Membership includes a 1-year subscription (four issues) to Idunna either electronically or by paper, access to our e-mail lists, and after one year, eligibility for our Clergy and Lore training programs.
Why am I asked a question at signup and renewal?
Upon sign up and renewal all members are asked to affirm the following:
"I agree to treat all Troth members with respect regardless of tradition, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, gender, or family structure in accordance with the Bylaws and policies of The Troth."
This statement, which is often referred to as the Member Inclusion Statement, is your attestation that you will abide by our policies and treat all of those in this hall with respect, and that they in turn will offer you the same.
Inclusion and Respect are Troth policies.
I am having trouble affording my renewal. What can I do?
GEBO FUND (37.02 Q32018)
Existing Troth members with financial hardship may apply to be granted one year renewal electronic Troth membership, with a limit of three consecutive years of such per member. The Gebo Fund is intended for members who have served and/or make a contribution to the betterment of our Organization. Gebo means gift and we believe in giving “a gift for a gift”
Successive years after the first may require documentation of a minimum of four hours pre-approved community service.
If granted renewal Gebo membership will be processed immediately as long as we have funds available, otherwise your renewal will be queued until such funds are available. The Troth collects donations to the Gebo fund and will match funds donated up to $500 per year for members in need.
To apply for the Gebo fund renewal, contact the Clerk (firstname.lastname@example.org) detailing your hardship. The Clerk will present your application to the Gebo Committee for a vote, and will then notify you of the results.
How many people are in the Troth?
The Troth currently has over 1000 members worldwide.
How can I find local Troth Groups or Members?
The Troth tries to assist its members in forming local groups to practice our religion and make it more widely available. This is done by referring people to existing groups, providing networking help through local coordinators, or "Stewards," listing affiliated groups, and supporting and publicizing local and regional gatherings when requested.
Troth Membership Status Queries
Longstanding Troth policy was affirmed via Rede discussions (4.05 Q42018) that The Troth and its representatives may neither confirm nor deny the membership status of any individual outside of Troth Officers or other representatives with a titled position in the organization.
Whom can I contact for more information?
Troth-Questions@thetroth.org or your area Steward, who is a more local source for information on The Troth.
What is a Steward?
Stewards are volunteers who work to build community for heathens everywhere in conjunction with the Troth. They start by providing a presence and giving information to individuals who are interested in The Troth or in heathenry in general. They may also help heathens find each other, start kindreds, and create opportunities for local kindreds to get together with each other or organize regional meetings.
The work of the Steward in the troth is about bringing together threads of individuals and kindreds. They are familiar with the Troth members and kindreds in his or her area, and know the other heathen organizations that are willing to work with the Troth. They usually have strong ties to the broader heathen community local to the Steward’s territory.
How can I find my local Steward?
A listing of all the current and proposed stewards is inside the back cover of each Idunna and can also be found on our website on our Steward Locator Map. Please feel free to contact your regional steward (if there is one for your area) about Asatru, the Troth, and/or heathens in your area. If you receive no reply, please email the High Steward as he or she can answer you as well.
Does the Troth have any publications?
Yes, quite a few! The best-known projects to date are Our Troth Volume One: History and Lore and Our Troth Volume Two: Living the Troth. They are available for purchase at: The Troth Store. Additionally, among The Troth's members are many authors and musicians.
What is Idunna?
Idunna is the quarterly journal published by the Troth. The journal is named for the Norse goddess Íðunn, whose golden apples keep the gods and goddesses ever vibrant. With this journal and our other worthy actions, we revivify these Gods and Goddesses, and restore them to their vital role in our world and our lives. We come together now to forge again the Hammer of the North that is our own Troth.
Does the Troth have any training programs?
The Troth currently offers The Lore Program and Clergy Programs to eligible members.
The Lore Program:
To enter the Lore Program, a Full Troth Member must first complete the Introduction to Heathenism Course (member link). Completion is proven by passing the test for the Introduction to Heathenism Course. Note: new Troth members may work through the Introduction to Heathenism Course during their first year of membership and thus be ready to take the test when they become Full Members. After passing the Introduction to Heathenism test, a Full Troth Member may then complete the Lore Program Application and send it along with a writing sample to the Provost. To request the test for the Introduction to Heathenism Course, contact the Provost at email@example.com. (member link).
What does the clergy program do?
The Clergy Program is designed to meet the various religious needs of its members by producing a generalist clergy who can serve in a wide variety of functions. Many other individuals within the program feel called to a specific cause beyond these general needs, and they are free to explore this calling so long as it matches the ethos of the Troth clergy program and the values of The Troth itself. (3.12 | 55.04 discussions Q42019)
Is a wedding performed by Troth clergy legal?
Within the United States, a wedding ceremony from Troth Clergy is legal if it meets all the various and sundry requirements of local law. Whether in the US or another country, one should check the requirements of the local jurisdiction. (3.12 | 55.04 discussions Q42019)
What is Trothmoot?
Once a year, the Troth sponsors a major gathering at which members and interested folks from all over North America, and often from Europe, attend, conduct workshops and religious ceremonies, and discuss and demonstrate their many skills and religious practices. This has been an invaluable opportunity to experience the richness of modern Heathenry, and add depth and energy to one's own practice. Further, Trothmoot is the Annual Business Meeting of the Organization.
Does the Troth engage in charity or outreach?
In-Reach Heathen Prison Services is an effort designed to help prison chaplains, prison administrators, and incarcerated Heathens to learn more about Heathenry through the provision of positive Heathen materials. This program is a coordinated effort of Troth members and local kindreds and individuals.
The Troth's Red Hammer program is designed to collect money to donate to the victims of disasters or tragedies. The goal of this program is to create a disaster relief program.
The Troth also offers a Heathens in Recovery program to assist those struggling with addiction and mental illness
What's in the Troth Oath of Service?
Your Oath of Service (updated 17.07 Q12019) reads, in part:
With The Troth I stand against any use of Germanic religion and culture to advance causes of any form of prejudice. All are welcome within our Hall, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, or race. As my word is my bond, I will strengthen my good name and the good name of The Troth.
What does “stands against” mean in this context?
"Stand against" is a moral and ethical stance. It is not a call to violence.
The Troth does not condone violence of any sort, nor do we promote active violation of the law, outside civil disobedience which some members may do by attending protests as individuals. So, should someone attend who is clearly not in line with our beliefs, such as a white supremacist wearing a t-shirt that espouses their beliefs, we do not stand with them in blot. Of course we can’t know who is and who is not. But as an individual with integrity, should someone say something over the horn that is clearly racist, homophobic such as mentions above, we would choose to walk away.
The In-Reach Heathen Prison Services program as well as some emergent Clergy needs may serve as exceptions to this policy per their policies and and procedures. Please direct questions regarding their policies to the appropriate team leadership.
The Troth calls out racist behavior in our ranks and we remove those people who demonstrate that behavior.
Does The Troth promote activism?
Some members might interpret this that way, and that’s their prerogative. However unless someone is doing something to harm others, we cannot know who is and who is not prejudiced in one of these manners. By standing against them, we mean that we do not stand with them.
Should someone break the law of the land with hate speech or a hate crime, or simply a crime, that is the job of the local authority, police, to handle. Calling the police is certainly an option.
We do not condone assault, or any other form of violence, save self defense.
The Troth expects all members to abide by these guidelines and leaves decisions as to how to best do so in a manner that places the safety of all participants as the highest priority.
Being a good host and a good guest and helping keep frith or grith are what we support. Walking away or not associating with those who are discriminatory and prejudiced against those of different ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, is what we would promote.
What are some of The Troth's policies regarding expectations on the e-mail list and Facebook group?
FORUM DISRUPTION POLICY
Members who have been found in violation of 4.4.1 in the Bylaws, "...when an individual member's behavior impedes the community's ability to maintain a constructive environment, or hinders the organization's ability to function" by making statements in bad faith (trolling), implying or making threats to the corporate viability of The Troth, "tag-teaming" or engaging in team attacks on other members, blocking the administration members of The Troth (e.g., the High Rede) and/or moderators of the Facebook group or our email list, or any combination thereof, be banned from the members' email lists and Internet forum for a period of no less than nine months. (49.04 Q42017)
This policy of banning someone from participating in Troth e-mail groups or the Troth Facebook group is an initial step towards revocation of membership. It is not taken lightly and is intended for use in recurring and egregious circumstances. The Moderator must undertake serious consideration prior to activating this option, and members should take cautions and warnings from the Moderator seriously. The Rede will need to vote utilizing evidence, which may be seen within the Facebook group or email list directly or may be presented by the Moderator. (49.04.00.01 Q42017)
Rules on Blocking Moderators or Undoing Moderator Actions in Troth Fora
The High Rede has created a policy (49.06 Q42018) that a member who blocks a Troth or Heathens Against Hate Admin or Moderator will be summarily muted by other Admins or Moderators for a period of 24 hours. During that time, the other Admins or Moderators must contact the muted member to advise them that they must remove the block within that muting period or appeal through the Ombuds (see paragraph 2); otherwise, they will be removed from the group. A screenshot of the warning must be taken and stored in the Lead Moderator's Google Drive of their Troth email account. If the block is not removed by the end of the muting period, the offending member shall be summarily removed by another Admin or Moderator and will not be allowed to rejoin.
If a member has a personal reason for blocking one of the Moderators that is unrelated to a specific Troth post that member should be allowed to appeal to submit to Ombuds for mediate regarding the issue with the Moderator. This submission must follow the rules and processes of an Ombuds complaint. If the Ombuds advises the Rede that there are insufficient reasons or evidence for the block or if the complainant does not cooperate with the Ombuds process, then an Admin or Moderator may proceed to mute or to remove the member in accordance with the procedure outlined in paragraph 1. If the Ombuds determines that there is sufficient cause for the block, then another moderator can look at that member's posts.
Members who undo Admin or Moderator actions (e.g., turning comments off when an Admin or Moderator turns them on) shall be given one warning by a member of the Admin/Moderating team. A screenshot of the warning must be taken and stored in the Lead Moderator's Google Drive of their Troth email account. If a subsequent offense occurs at any time, the member will be summarily removed from the group by an Admin or Moderator.
Note: This applies to any Troth or HAH forum where such Administrative and Moderator tools are available.
What are the general rules ("thew") at Heathen Rituals hosted by the Troth?
The High Rede has passed the following motion (4.08 Q42018) to define the process of the taking of oaths at Grand Symble, the Thane's role as guardians during Grand Syble, what to do if misspoken words are uttered in any ritual, and how to handle disruptive behavior in Troth rituals:
Whereas proper etiquette is crucial for smooth performance of ritual, as well as for facilitating ties of Wyrd among the membership, I motion the following:
Oaths at Grand Sumbel:
To make an oath, the individual must be a Troth member in good standing and have been a member for at least 366 days. Prior to the start of Grand Sumbel, the Steer (or other presiding officer) shall appoint a Thane (Thyle). All oaths must be cleared with the Thane prior to sumbel. The details must be agreed upon, which include a timeframe for completing the oath, as well as terms of Schuld if the oath is broken. If the Thane agrees, then the individual will be allowed to voice the oath and its terms at an appointed time at Grand Sumbel. The Thane will document the oath and its terms. The oath-taker has a responsibility to follow up with the Thane to report completion, and if no communication has been received by next Trothmoot, the oath will be considered unfulfilled. If the individual does not fulfill the terms of the oath and subsequently does not provide the agreed-upon Schuld, the Thane will alert the Steer. The individual in question will be barred from participating at all future Grand Sumbels until Schuld is determined to have been made.
Prior to all rituals, the presiding liturgist shall deliver a pre-ritual briefing to the audience. The pre-ritual briefing is to disclose a small outline of the ritual, as well as its purpose, and to specify any prohibited behavior(s). Attendees of the rite are expected to adhere to any specified prohibitions. Should any attendee commit inoffensive mistakes, the ritual will stop. The presiding liturgist will politely correct the individual concerned, a small portion of the liquid offering will be respectfully removed from the horn or stein and placed into a separate, clean vessel, and the ritual shall continue. The portion of the libation that was removed shall be commended to the soil with a simple, "Hail" at the end of the ritual. If an individual disrupts the event through verbal or physical abuse or belligerence, or is otherwise considered harassing, or if the individual hails a being prohibited by the Troth Position Statement, they will be asked to leave the event.
Additionally, a non-alcoholic libation must be available to participants at any official Troth ritual.