I thought I’d add my views on the subject and contribute in a way I can as I’m not as knowledgeable as you chaps in some areas. Runes and Heathenism is something I’ve been studying for a long time and as I began to work with and meditate on the runes ad the gods (including the goddesses) and various wights.
It’s my understanding that, as tribal and ancestral deities, the gods and goddesses of what many know as Asatru and its related regional variations are going to be of interest to those of Germanic/Northern European ancestry but I see no reason why they’d only want to deal with their descendants. It’s true that many royal houses and others of Europe trace their ancestry back to these beings anyone with Germanic blood can count them as ancestors. This is just like (according to scientists, anyone with European ancestry can count the emperor, Charlemagne as a blood ancestor.
In my workings with them I’ve come to the belief that they’re interested in followers who have the courage to stand on their own two feet, not back down in the face of authority (even if they are themselves the authority as the eddas/sagas (I forget the source now). They also don’t want anything to do with the lazy. This being the case, I believe they’re more interested in ones heart than the origin of ones blood. They’re not the KKK after-all are they? What I would say is to meditate on them and if possible, travel to meet them (ie astrally, OBE, etc). You’ll know if it’s the right path for you. I personally don’t feel comfortable with some of the paths (such as Necromancy) on this site but know that we must all choose for ourselves. Some people say that after study they’ve found there are a number of similarities between Asatru and the ancestral beliefs of various tribes in North America and religions like Shinto in Japan.
If you’re not sure if you want to stay with them then don’t pledge yourself to them because that would just get on their bad sides, not a good place to be. I think they’d be willing to serve as a stop-gap for those moving from one path to another while searching for one they can call home. Like Eric, I was raised LDS so know all about that. In my 20’s I stopped going though and noticed strange occurances in my life at that time (and in my past when I thought back) that led me to the belief that they’re the ones for me. That being the case, if a person wanted to search for the right path for them, they wouldn’t be offended if they studied and experimented with their system as long as it was done with the right intention, before moving on to another system (such as maybe the Hellenic gods and goddesses for a Greek, etc.).
Just my input and I hope I’ve not confused anyone.