“And I believe that God, whatever you call him, whether you call him Buddha or Muhammad or Thor or Christ or whatever, it comes from within. God is here. But you will have to find God. Every single person will have to look and find the God that fits to his own soul, his own personality. And with me, I have been always very connected to nature. And the God that I found was Thor because he was or is the son of the earth like I am daughter of the earth, and he was the protector and the friend of mankind. And our Gods in Ásatrú are really not the Gods that you – you do not pray to the Gods like they are higher and mightier than yourself. The Gods are your friends, they are a part of you. They are really you… You find yourself in each and every one of them. They are many. So not all Asatru have the same God because we are different people and we need different things. But everybody needs something that is stronger than their selves.”
On a beautiful but very cold day, Heidi & I met Jóhanna Harðardóttir at her home on a fjord (!!!) right outside of Reykjavik, Iceland. Johanna is a priestess in the Ásatrú religion, the native religion of Iceland that came into being around the year 800, before Europe converted to Christianity. Johanna realized quickly as a young teen that she was drawn to the elements of nature and the “runes” (symbols) of Ásatrú that she began to see everywhere she went. I really loved so much about Johanna—she touched our souls in a very deep way. It was very powerful to hear Johanna speak of her friendship with the God, Thor, who is “son of the earth.” The notion that God is our friend, inside of us, is US…this matches my own understanding that we are inseparable from the divine energy. Johanna’s message, for me, is that we must become friends with ourselves and see that as sacred work. We must strive to be our ‘highest selves’ or our ‘best selves.’ The beauty of Johanna’s home on that amazing fjord, and Johanna’s beauty, will forever be etched in our memories.