Kindred (Heathenism)

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In the Heathen movements, a kindred is a local worship group and organizational unit.

Kindreds are usually grassroots groups, most of which are independent from any other organization. Rarely through, a kindred may be affiliated with a national organization such as the Ásatrú Alliance, Asatru Folk Assembly or The Troth, rather than the Swedish Forn Sed Assembly or the Odinic Rite. Independent kindreds are more typical within the US than elsewhere.

Internal structure[edit]

Kindreds are often composed of hearths or families as well as individuals, and the members of a kindred may be related by blood or marriage, or may be unrelated. The kindred functions as a religious group, and often also as an extended family. Membership is managed according to the legal organization of the group, which may range from an Unincorporated Associations to various forms of Corporate bodies.

Kindreds usually function as cell groups, but sometimes as formal churches, study groups, or clubs. There is a prevalent interest in communal philosophy (called tribalism within Asatru), but no kindreds are known put that practice into action through land ownership.[citation needed]


The kindreds usually have a recognized godi (priest) or gydia (priestess) to lead religious rites Historically, most gothar are ordained by the religious groups that recognize them through a process alone, based on who is judged by the group to be a spiritual leader. The Troth and the Ásatrú Folk Assembly both have clergy training programs but no organization yet recognizes any other organization's ordainment. However, The Troth's In-Reach Heathen Prison Services does recognize clergy from other programs on a case-by-case basis for prison chaplaincy purposes.[1]


  1. ^ The Troth's In-Reach Heathen Prison Services Charter, Accessed on December 23, 2014.

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