Les Enfants d’Yggdrasill (Children of Yggdrasill, abbreviate LEY) is a French reconstructionist ásatrú organization, that mean we follow the traditions of the ancient Germania and North, the word Ásatrú signifying « faith (and trust) in the Æsir ».
Our main purpose is to get together people sharing this tradition, this faith, this passion, in order to keep it alive.
LEY has been registered in 2013 under the French law for associations of 1901.
The fact that we are a reconstructionist association doesn’t mean that we are nostalgic of the past. It means that we support the idea of studying closely the ancient customs in order to use them as basis of a practice adapted to modern life and actual society.
LEY greatly encourage its members to deepen their knowledge about Germanic and Nordic civilization. In this manner they can construct themselves their own understanding of the gods and the texts, and also their very own way to celebrate the gods. It’s a very important thing for us, because we’re convinced that the diversity in customs and views is an essential element of ásatrú.
That mean that there is, and there will never be, any dogma to follow in LEY.
Thus, although in LEY we all do blótar (i.e. sacrifices) to honour the gods, the way we’re doing it differs from one group to another, and even between individual. For example, some sacrifice only drinks, when others offer also food, flowers or other objects, some throw their offerings in fire when other spread it on the ground, etc.
We do also symbel; during those ceremonies we make toasts in honour of gods, heroes, ancestors, etc.
It’s important for us to don’t let forget the memory of our forefathers and our dead, because as long as we remind them, it’s like they weren’t totally dead. That’s why we encourage the worship of the ancestor. The association doesn’t take directly part in it, because it comes under the private domain, but we’re always happy to share informations and to discuss with people interested by these theme.
We have chosen to honour only the Germanic and Nordic deities during our ceremonies, as we don’t want to spread our efforts, but members are totally free to honour other beings outside the association.
We think that our traditions shouldn’t be used to promote political doctrines and one of our main goal is to disclose them, in order that they’ll not be any more associated in the mind of public with those ideologies.
We are also in opposition with people wanting to use our religion to justify discriminations based on origin, sexual orientation or other personal traits.
LEY is a federation of regional (branches) and local (buds) groups, who mainly maintain the religious practise while the central committee is in charge of administration.
Those regional groups, also called branches, are largely independent and choose themselves their leaders and the way they want to celebrate the gods. Each group leader has the responsibility to organize the activities and ceremonies within his/her region, he/she also represents the members of his/her clan in the Thing.
The local groups, also called buds, are little groups dedicated to religious practise inside regional groups. Those buds are future branches, and allow us to organize celebration even in the areas where we have only few members. When a bud had fulfill the condition, it can become a branch.
The Thing is the assembly of all the groups leaders and of members of central committee, it makes the decisions needed to follow the guidelines and reach the goals defined in the general meeting of members. It also ensures that the rules are respected within the association.
The central committee is composed of a chairman, a vice-chairman, a treasurer, a secretary and an assessor. They’re elected for three years by all the members of association during the general meeting.
Our chairman is currently Yves Kodratoff.
The main task of the central committee is to manage the association, but, as its members are, in view of French law, legally accountable for the action of the association, they’re a part of deliberation of the Thing and, in some circumstances, it can oppose a veto to a Thing’s decision if it thinks that it’s in conflict with the French law or the association’s ethics.
There is at least one general meeting a year. During this meeting, after the presentation of the year’s assessment by the central committee and the Thing, all the members vote to approve (or not) the action of the central committee and the Thing. They’re also invited to discuss and vote about the global orientation, the statute of the association and to elect the central committee members if needed.
Anyone, even if you aren’t French citizen or if you don’t live in France, can join LEY, as long as you agreeing to follow our rules and ethics. Minors (under the age of 18) need the permission from a guardian.
The easiest way to join the association is to show your interest on our forum, you’ll be then put in touch with the nearest local group of your residential place.
We have currently regional groups in Alsace and Paris’ region, the latter being also in charge of people who live too far from other groups.
However, keep in mind that LEY is a French-speaking association and, consequently the major part of our activities and literature is in French, although we are always happy to discuss with followers of our traditions from other countries.
Members have to pay an annual subscription. As we don’t benefit from any kind of support from government, it covers at the same time the administration fee (for example to pay the leasing of the website’s server), the financing of our projects and all the things related to religious practice (for example if we need to lease a place for a ritual). The normal subscription is 25-€, a reduced rate is available under conditions (unemployed, student, group or members of a same family for example).
As compensation members enjoy a large number of benefits. Firstly the participation to our ceremonies and activities is, not always but most of the time, reserved to members. They also have an unrestricted access to all our literature (non-members can only access to some parts of it) and have a vocal server at their disposal.
Our main activity is the celebration of the gods, but we also lead several projects in order to deepen our knowledge and understanding of ancient tradition.
Since there is very few documentation about our custom available in French we work for example a lot on publication of informations, sources and guides on our website.
Regional and local groups also have their own project, you can learn more about it on the presentation page of each group.