The following is adapted from Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried's 4-part interview with Jóhanna at The Norse Mythology Blog. The interview starts here.
Our 3rd Annual THOR'S GIVING continues with more thoughts on humanity & nature. Jóhanna G. Harðardóttir is an Icelandic journalist, author & artist. She's also Staðgengill Allsherjargoða (Deputy High Priestess) of the Ásatrúarfélagið (Æsir Faith Fellowship), the pagan church founded in 1972 that is officially recognized by the Icelandic government.
"People knew - and we still know in Iceland - that we don’t rule the world. We are not the rulers; we are just part of this system. Here in Iceland, it’s still so obvious we don’t rule. We have to work with nature and not against it.
"We don’t know when we are getting an earthquake or volcano outburst. We’re not thinking about it all the time; that doesn’t help at all. When we’re there, we’ll have to face it. It’s the same thing - we work with nature and not against it. There’s another word which is very hard to explain - æðruleysi. Don’t worry about things, but when you get there, do your best. That’s the main thought.
"We have this Earth, our mother, and once we have polluted that and killed it, there is no other. So, we’d better take care.
"It’s so sad, to look at what’s happening in the world. People don’t realize. It’s the same thing - life is starting here, and then it’s over here, and it’s okay whatever you do, as long as you go to heaven. My children and my grandchildren will be alive, I hope, and I want them to have a world, too.
"Women are sometimes - here, at least - more green than men are. They think more about nature and connections to nature than men do. It may be not right to say this, but I feel that.
"Talking to new women in the group of Ásatrú people, they are really very green. They are thinking about the future for their children and for the world. This is maybe what brings women into Ásatrú.
"The population of young people in the Ásatrúarfélagið is growing very rapidly. I think young people are starting to think differently. They do understand that we have to be in peace. It’s not all about money."