Wæs þu Æll Hal!
Here's an answer I composed in answer to an inquiry about Théodism onthe Asatru in Action list.
"A deceptively simple question, which needs more of an answer than spacewill permit, so the short form follows."
"First, a small, but important semantic point: Théodish, not Theodist, way of life versus ideological point of view."
"Here is a link - http://www.geocities.com/piparskegg/BukRvwz01.html - to the book review I wrote about "Way of the Heathen" by Gárman Lord, the founder of Théodisc Ýeliefa in the modern era. Garman has been kind and said I have a fair understanding of Théodish Belief, for a non-Théodsman ;-) So I'll give that view to compliment any answer you receive from the resident Théodsman or two."
"The name comes from the Anglo-Saxon and simply means tribal belief. The Asatrú similicrum is Vor Trú. One posits traveling back 12 or 13 hundred years and asking a Dane or German or Anglo-Saxon, asf: "What is your religion?" After explaining the foreign concept of one's religion being a separate compartment of thought from te rest of life, said Elder Forebear would likely answer on the order of: <shrug> "My tribe's beliefs." Same answer one would reieve from any man or woman of a tribal nature and community I think."
"Where Asatrú is (in Vinland at least) modeled after the practices of the Goðic Republic in pre-Conversion Iceland, Théodism seeks to recreate the more structured and less codified ways of the pre-Conversion Anglo-Saxon and related tribal peoples."
"Théodism has been called a "Lawless" society. It is, in that, they have little or no written Law. Their community runs on Custom, Tradition and Thew. To become a member of their society, one must sell oneself into a form of Thralldom. During this period, one's "Master" or Lord in responsible for teaching you the "ties that bind" in Théodisc community. If a Thrall "runs away," there is no onus save one gets no re-entry. Once one has earned the Freedom of the Ricé, one can then exchange Oaths and become part of the Web of Oaths Thewing the community: Man to Lord, Lord to Man, usw."
"Ricé: Kingdom. An important point about Théodism - the Sacral Kingship. A very important part of the Thews of Théodism is the respect for and belief in the principle of Sacral Kingship. My understanding is that the King embodies the Luck of the Land and the Tribe, and acts as a conduit of that Luck on the Tribe's behalf. It's more complex than this, really..."
"Théodism is a very literate way of heathenry, some of the best modern writings come from Théodish writers. They strive to rediscover ways in which our forebears Thewed the Community and Fained the Holy Ones. Many of their people are very creative with handicrafts, song, music and in other ways."
"An interesting bunch of folks, with whom I am proud to say I have had friendship ties for several years now."
"If there are more quetions, have your friend write me, I'll get him in contact with Gárman, Eric Lord or other Théodsman."
"The answers are out there, somewhere ;-)"
In Frith under Troth, may the Gods see you!
- Piparskeggr skjaldberi Ullar
AFA - AA - ORV - MSR
Builder for the Future and Traveler along the Folkway