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An in progress view of some of my thinking...

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The Eddas, Sagas, folktales, histories and such, tell of Gods and men, places and deeds, dooms and deemings.  They are a horde of words and a hoard of knowledge and wisdom.  I have a passing familiarity with this lore, from reading it, and conversing with others about it.

Still, I am an unlearned man.

I spend little time mulling over the ideas and lessons from the elder poems and prose.  I take them in, and they become part of me, like my kinship to the Æsir and Vanir.

Thus, I also say that I practice no religion, but AM Asatrú.

Asatrú: a new name for elder, nameless faithways.  At its simplest level, meaning faith in, trust in, or loyalty to the Gods.  The tales of the birth, growth and fullness of the ancient beliefs and faithways are largely lost to our grasp. They come to us in the small bits and obscure snippets saved by the Church scribes, and their sympathizers, to serve the purposes of the conquerors.

These remnants of a vast, rich and full oral tradition, form a base from which to build.

The northern tribes, be they Goth, Angle, Jute, Dane, Saxon, Frisian, Rugian, Lombard, Vandal or other, were far faring folk.  In this movement across the face of Midgard, they were born of older peoples, and were shaped anew.  In their travels they shaped others, and spread across the world, to an extent still largely unknown in the fullness of time. 
They left to us: their words, their works, their bones and their children.

If any of these folk had a name for their faithways, we have it not.

Names can be fragile things, mutable and forgotten if not used.  These names for the elder troth may not even have existed, for many think that the elder kin did not think of faithways as being a separate part of their lives.  This is unlike today where "God" is for many an entity they visit for an hour on Sunday in a boxlike building.

Some today use Asatrú as a name for who and what they are, to set their minds for how they worship.  Others use differing names for a similar troth with that which is holy: Heathen, Norse-Pagan, Heiðni, Elder Troth, Forn Sed, Vor Trú, Théodism, Odinism, Wotanism, Vanatrú and so forth.  Many, who might be called "Hidden Folk," live in troth and faith, and have no name.

To a lesser or greater degree, importance is put on descent from, or re-forming, the elder tribes.  Long and long have been the discussions over "Blood and Bone."  Suffice to say; I believe that those of European ancestry are most likely to have the Kinlore and Orlóg from which to draw strength of Troth.  Does this preclude others?  Maybe, but only the Gods truly know.

What do I think and believe is held in common across modern heathenry?

I believe that all but a very small segment will agree that the tales of the Æsir and Vanir are present only in the northern lore, that horde and hoard I heretofore described.  This small storehouse contains much about a few numinous beings, a little about some and almost nothing about many.  They combine to tell us, the Sagas especially, about the elder approach to life, ethics and faith.  They are a rich mother lode; an ever-fresh source of gold (and dross) to each miner no matter how deep they delve.

I also believe we are feeling our way in the murk towards rediscovering, reforming and rebuilding the True richness of our forebears' community ways.  We call our groupings: Hearths, Kindreds, Hofs, Houses, Fellowships, Tribes and so forth.  We have: Nine Noble Virtues, Community Thews, Hold Oaths, Law and such.  I believe this speaks to our deep seated want to form up with others of like mind, and to regain those forms of beinggness which speaks across the Well and through the Years.

As, with the Forebears, this variety of social thought sometimes leads to dispute, whether over verbiage or intellectual territory, this too is in our nature.  We strive, because we must.  We test, because we must.  We go forward, because we must.  No harm in this: just our Trúness in Action, our Becoming in Deeds.

Also, as Asatrú is ever new as we live each day, I think we must add to the horde and hoard.  We must write new Eddas and Sagas, folktales and histories.  We must leave the kinlore of this new day to our children and theirs and on.

We must control Our Words and be Our Skalds and Scribes.

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In Frith under Troth, may the Gods see you!
- Piparskeggr skjaldberi Ullar
AFA - AA - ORV - VTA
Builder for the Future and Traveler along the Folkway
Willing to work with all who advance Our Faith and Folkways.

River Wood Samfélag - Vinlandisc Folkvegr
Ældorman and Steward
http://www.river-wood-samfelag.org