UPG, or Unverified Personal Gnosis, is the bane of the Asatru world. and I have never really understood why.
Asatru, for those who don’t know, is faith in the Aesir, which are the Norse gods and goddesses. Odin, Thor, Frigga, and Tyr are just a few of the Aesir gods in the pantheon. Most of the Aesir are considered war gods, while the Vanir gods, Freyr, Freya, Ullr, and Njord are nature gods. In Asatru there are also Jotuns (giants) that are honored, namely Aegir and Ran, although there are some who honor Loki.
In Asatru there is no “bible” or dogma as there is with other major religions. All we have are the Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, and the sagas of Icelandic heroes to teach us the myths of the Norse gods and goddesses. As there is no list of rules. It is up to the individual to learn what feels right to them. That is one thing that I have always loved about my faith, it is very personal. What is true to me is not necessarily true for everyone else. Almost any belief held personal to an Asatruar is UPG.
Yet, when you mention UGP to others of the same path some immediately get wary and ready to fight. The main problem of course is that the belief is “unverified.” I have always wondered if their beliefs are so easily shattered by another’s opinion, is it something that is really true to your heart? I have many UPGs in regards to Asatru. My ideas on what constitutes as “dying in battle” are much different than a great many people of the Asatru faith. Some people take great offense to some of my ideas because it goes against their perceived ideas of what Asatru is or isn’t. I have no ill will to others who’s opinion differs from mine, religious or otherwise. What is true to me is true to me. I love a good debate, as long as it doesn’t snowball into rants and humiliation tactics. Who knows? Maybe I will learn something!
With any religion, you must approach it with an open mind. People believe that Jesus walked on water. That’s awesome if it is true to you. Personally I believe that Thor is out there eating drinking, and killing Jotun’s with Mjolnir. To each their own.
UPG needs to be approached in the same manner, with an open mind. If someone is sharing a UPG it means they are opening up to you. The least you can do is listen with an open mind. This is not saying that you have to agree with everyone, gods know I don’t, but at least try to look at things from a different point of view.