What is a Godthi?

by Chris Haviland

A godhi is the Asatru equivalent of the priest in other religions. In olden times, the godhi was a wealthy landowner and leader. One of the responsibilities of a godhi was to provide a place for religious observances, provision those gatherings, and lead the ceremony as priest.

Today, the godhi is the spiritual leader of the kindred – providing for and leading religious ceremonies such as blots, sumbles, funerals and weddings. Occaisionally, the godhi is called upon to minister to and counsel the membership of the kindred, in addition to his other responsibilities. More than anything else, the godhi is the representative for our faith to the world. In that capacity, the godhi must lead an exemplary life – to bring no shame to our faith.

The godhi is a teacher, war-leader, poet, and scribe – because, in the fight to reclaim our ancient heritage, the forgotten lore must be relearned, enemies routed, new ceremonies written to replace those lost, and someone must capture this new learning for posterity.

To be a godhi in my view, one must first make a lifetime commitment to serve our faith, and secondly one must lead more than just oneself – for it takes at least two to make a kindred.