Germanic neopaganism, also known as heathenry, has steadily gained popularity across the U.S. since it first emerged in the 1970s. Rooted in the pre-Christian beliefs of ancient Europe, heathenry honors the deities of the Old Norse pantheon. Adherents also observe customs and beliefs described in ancient literature, such as the Icelandic Eddas and Anglo-Saxon poetry, often with a uniquely American twist.
Surprisingly, heathenry enjoys a particularly strong foothold in parts of Appalachia, a region typically portrayed as the Bible Belt. Jeremy and Emily Janey, who lead a small heathen community in the hills of southern Ohio, explain that this belief system aligns closely with their values as Appalachians: honor, hospitality, self-reliance, and kinship.