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.
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.
Where can I find Troth policies? Troth policies are published in the quarterly business archive called Mimir's Well. Past issues may be found in the Member Documents section of The Troth's website. Governing documents and procedures (Bylaws, Position Statement, and this FAQ page) are publicly accessible via this website. Anything cited on the aforementioned webpages is considered to be Troth policy.
What is the difference among Bylaws, Position Statement, and FAQ? The Bylaws are a foundational document that has also been submitted to the Internal Revenue Service in order for The Troth to become established as a tax-exempt charity. The Bylaws may be updated by the Rede but ratification of a simple majority of active, voting members is required for a Bylaws update to take effect. The updated Bylaws must then be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service. In contrast, changes to the Position Statement may be updated by the Rede and must be ratified by a simple majority of active, voting members. The Position Statement does not need to be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service. Changing either the Bylaws or the Position Statement is a large endeavor and is not to be done lightly. The policies that appear on the FAQ page, on the other hand, are achieved through simple majority vote by the High Rede (Board of Directors) and do not require ratification by the membership or a submission to the Internal Revenue Service. The policies that appear on the FAQ page reflect the day-to-day decisions of the organization and change over time as the organization, its membership, and its interaction with wider society evolves.
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.
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.
How many people are in the Troth? The Troth currently has over 500 members worldwide.
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, access to our e-mail lists, and after one year, eligibility for our Clergy and Lore training programs.
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.
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.
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.
Why does your banner at the top of your webpages use Tiwaz and Hagalaz to make the "th" sound in "Troth" instead of just using Thurisaz? The spelling is intended to be "rune-like" rather than "runic." This makes it easier to read for those who are not familiar with the runes and runic orthography.
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.
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; for the Application, click this link Lore Program - Application (member link).
Clergy Program: Completing the Lore program is a pre-requisite to entering the Clergy Program. This part of our website is still under construction. Keep checking back for updates.
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? There is much diversity of belief and practice across the heathen community. The Troth does its best to embrace and bring together as much of this diversity as possible in a group where everyone still talks to each other. People who are closely involved with Loki are welcome as Troth members, but hailing Loki at our Trothmoot blots, Trothmoot Grand Sumbel and certain TKP-sponsored events is not allowed. What members do in blots and sumbels outside of the aforementioned Troth sponsored events is their own business. Trothmoots may have Vé, weos, or shrines, dedicated to individual Gods and Goddesses. Trothmoot attendees are welcome to observe personal devotions at these shrines in privacy. Please see the “Trothmoot” page for more detailed information. The High Rede calls on all our members to respect one another and maintain frith within our organization. Please also see our Position Statement, which addresses related questions in more detail.
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, a deep respect for our Germanic religious, cultural and historical heritage; and a strong determination to practice the moral principles followed by our noble predecessors, including Courage,Truth, Honor, Loyalty, Discipline, Hospitality, Industriousness, Self-reliance, and Steadfastness.
Are there any programs aimed at the wider society? 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.
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. They 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.
- 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.
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.
Your Oath of Service reads, in part: With The Troth I stand against any use of Germanic religion and culture to advance causes of racism, sexism, homophobia, white supremacy, ableism, or any other form of prejudice.
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 is the ® symbol that appears sometimes after your organization's name?
The Troth is a trademark registered in the US Patent and Trade Office. The ® symbol reflects the trademark's registration and that the organization owns its name as a trademark.
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.
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)
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)
What are some of The Troth's policies regarding expectations on the e-mail list and Facebook group?
FORUM DISRUPTION POLICY (49.04.00.01 Q42017)
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.
What are The Troth's policies on member confidentiality?
OFFICER CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY (4.06 Q32018)
* A member’s personal information, membership status, and contact information are considered confidential and not to be divulged to other individuals or parties unless the member has authorized the release of such information in privacy settings on our website.
* The default course of action in an inquiry about an individual's membership status is for the inquiring party to permit the party being asked to provide contact information to the person being inquired about, and that person may choose whether to contact the inquirer.
*Exceptions to the Policy are as follows:
** Any Troth email address (@thetroth.org) may be shared freely.
**Officers and representatives of the organization may choose what information to have publicly listed on the website and official publications.
** Troth members realize that posting in the email group or Facebook group, or other social media platform, confirms their memberships to other members. Should a member wish to retain invisibility of identity, The Troth suggests use of a pseudonym. However, the Moderators, the Secretary, and Associate Steer, and the Steer reserve the right to request the true identity of any person in the Facebook group in order to ascertain membership status.
** In the course of official business, The High Rede or Executive Officers may provide personal information to vendors or legal counsel. The individual concerned will be notified of the need, and can choose to initiate contact with the relevant parties or have their information passed on.
** The Rede reserves the right to contact former Officers and members whose contact information needs to be shared for legal or business purposes, such as in the case of a vendor.
** Violations of this policy may result in removal of access to membership privileges up to and including membership revocation and/or other disciplinary actions.