BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014
Bradford and West YorkshireBradford and West Yorkshire

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Things to do
People & Places
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Bradford

North Yorkshire
South Yorkshire

Related BBC Sites


Contact Us


Odinist symbol
Odinist symbol

Odinism in West Yorkshire

You might associate Odin with the days when the Gods ruled the Earth with bolts of lightning. But did you know Odinism is still alive in West Yorkshire? Site user Alan is a member of 'Thor's Hearth' and he explains more...

What IS Odinism?

Odinism is the Old Religion of the Northern peoples: the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes as well as the Norse and Scandinavians. Unlike the many so called 'new-age' religions we have a faith which is steeped in history and culture. Our faith, although being old, offers a strong faith in today's modern, mad world.


We have a set of values that we try and live our lives by. These are called the 'Nine Noble Virtues': Courage, Truth, Honour, Fidelity, Discipline, Hospitality, Industriousness, Self-Reliance and Perseverance.

Statue of Ostara
Statue of Ostara

Also, unlike most of the other religions we do not worship our Gods and Goddesses. Instead, we believe in them as real people and honour their names. We do this at our celebrations in the form of sacrifice.

As in the past, our ancestors may have sacrificed cattle at certain times of the year. We modern heathens have carried on this tradition in honour of them, although now we don't sacrifice anything living. We do it by libation, by offering mead [an alcoholic drink made with honey and water] to the Earth.


We have six major festivals each year which follow the seasons. They are:

Yule:  21st  December
Ostara: 21st March
Sigurd's Day: 23rd April
Midsummer: 21st June
Harvest: 21st September
Heroes' Day: 11th November

What is "Thor's Hearth"?

The 'Hearth' is based in the heart of the West riding of Yorkshire and acts as contact point for those who wish to find out more about our English ancestral path of Odinism.

"Now we don't sacrifice anything living. We do it by offering mead to the Earth."
Alan, Thor's Hearth

The Hearth is one of many within the Odinist Fellowship but we're the most Northern! We hold regular meetings in and around the Bradford area. Our local membership is spread right throughout the West Riding, from Halifax, Keighley, Dewsbury and Bradford - and across to Leeds and Wakefield.

One of the aims of the hearth is to provide information on our own Anglo-Saxon ancestry in both areas of faith and history. We are currently working on our new revamped website which is going to include pages on local as well as English history. We have a contributions page as well for anyone who wishes to submit their own articles on Odinist- or history-related items.

The Odinist Fellowship

The Odinist Fellowship is a non-profit-making organisation and a registered, religious charity which aims to promote Odinism (our English ancestral faith) and to act as an 'umbrella' group for Odinists throughout England and the rest of the British Isles.

Viking Cross
Viking Cross

Members receive a quarterly 'Round Robin', which consists of views, comments and queries raised by the members themselves and, by doing that, endeavours to make a contribution to the debate about the future growth of Odinism.

Regular gatherings, both regional and national, are held; and the Fellowship hosts and encourages a number of local Hearths (or house groups), where Odinists gather to conduct sacrifices [with mead - see above] on celebration of festivals.

[PLEASE NOTE: All pictures on this page (c) 'AP'. Used with permission]

last updated: 01/11/05
Go to the top of the page

BBC Religion
Diane Louise Jordan


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Religion & Ethics
Discover more about Faith:
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy