A photo of Jóhanna Harðardóttir

Jóhanna Harðardóttir

Hvalfjörður, Iceland


I believe that God—whatever you call him, whether you call him Buddha or Muhammad or Thor or Christ or whatever—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 always been very connected to nature. 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 Ásatrú have the same God because we are different people and we need different things. But everybody needs something that is stronger than themselves.

Daniel’s Reflection

On a beautiful and very cold day, I met Jóhanna Harðardóttir at her home on a fjord 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 loved so much about Jóhanna—she touched my soul in a very deep way. It was very powerful to hear her speak of her friendship with the God, Thor, “son of the Earth.” The notion that God is our friend, inside of us, is us...matches my own understanding that we are inseparable from the Divine energy. Jóhanna’s message, for me, is that we must become friends with ourselves and see doing so as sacred work. We must strive to be our ‘highest selves’ or our ‘best selves.’ The beauty of Jóhanna’s home on that amazing fjord, and Jóhanna’s beauty, will forever be etched in my memory.

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