Welcome!

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Hello! I’d like to wish you all a very warm welcome to my blog, Modern Norse Heathen.

I am a 24 year old woman who lives in the UK, who was raised to be a Norse heathen.

I have always rejected the idea of organised religion, and instead prefer to practise heathenism – a belief system which allows you to follow your own path, rather than bow down before one deity.

I hope that this blog will help quel any negativity surrounding the heathen faith, and provide you with facts and interesting reading material on the subject.

Feel free to leave feedback in the comments – constructive criticism is always appreciated!

Also feel free to share my posts if you wish. 

Looking for Article Ideas!

Hello to all my lovely followers!

I hope you’ve all been well. Sorry that I haven’t posted for a while – Real life has a habit of getting in the way! I now find myself with some free time to dedicate to this blog, but I’m suffering from a case of ‘writer’s block’… Is there anything in particular you’d like me to write about? If so, please let me know!

Sex in the Viking Age

Over 18s Only!!!

Have you ever wondered how our Viking ancestors viewed (and practised) sex? Well, here’s a few interesting facts…

1. Viking women could choose from various suitors and move on if not sexually satisfied. In comparison to the rest of Europe at that time, Scandinavian women were very privileged in regards to their freedom and happiness. They could have a ‘trial marriage’, and if their partner wasn’t compatible, they could ‘divorce’ them before the marriage had even officially begun! They could also divorce later on in married life if their husband was no longer satisfactory in the bedroom department.

2. Both men and women took great pride in appearance and personal hygiene. Men would bathe at least once a week (by the standards of the day this was very often). Both genders dyed their hair, wore make-up, dressed in clean and colourful clothes and wore jewellery.

3. Premarital sex was considered normal in Viking society. However, marriage and procreation were expected, and those who did not marry were shunned by their communities.

4. Adultery was also common. At the beginning of the Viking Age, extramarital sex was frowned upon but generally accepted. But eventually, adultery became a crime – if a woman was caught having an affair, her husband could legally kill her and her lover (and vice versa!).

5. Vikings weren’t the greatest when it came to expressing their feelings or communicating with the opposite sex. Therefore, euphemisms were often used to help reduce the awkwardness of these encounters. The most explicit recorded euphemism for sex is ‘brolta a maga’, which means to ‘romp on her belly’.

6. The Vikings had contradictory views on homosexuality. On one hand it was perfectly fine to prefer the same sex as long as you still married and produced children, but on the other hand it was seen as shameful for men to be submissive. Lesbianism was probably accepted a lot more, but whilst a man could penetrate another man in order to humiliate and degrade him, penetrating a man for pleasure (or being on the receiving end) was unacceptable.

7. The Vikings had courtship rituals which seem very strange to us nowadays. For example, if a woman took a fancy to a man, she would make him a shirt. If a man was attracted to a woman, he would pick a bouquet of purple flowers and slap it across her face! Once a couple were officially ‘courting’ (dating), they could kiss, groom each other and share the same drinking horn.

8. It wasn’t uncommon for girls to get married as young as 12 years old. This was probably because the average lifespan in those days was just 40 years.

9. Descriptors were not gender-specific. For example, men could be referred to as ‘beautiful’, and women could be described as ‘handsome’, even though in the modern age the former is usually considered feminine, and the latter masculine. Weirdly, the ‘whiteness’ of a woman’s arms and the length and shininess of her hair were considered attractive. This could have been something to do with men assessing the health of a prospective mate.

10. Proving their masculinity was very important to Viking men. In the sagas, sex was very much something that men ‘did’, and something that was ‘done to’ women. Although there’s no doubt that Lesbianism did exist, it was rarely spoken about, as the idea of one’s wife fornicating with another woman (unless her husband was also involved) would dent his masculine pride.

11. If a Viking chieftain died, his men would have sex with one of his slave girls. The female slaves would be asked “which one of you will die with him?”. When a girl volunteered, she would visit the houses of every man who was close/loyal to the dead chieftain, and ‘lie with them’. After the deed was done, each man would say ‘Tell your master I did this only for the love of him’. The girl would then get drunk, sing, dance and appear cheerful. On the day of the chieftain’s funeral, the girl would be sacrificed and cremated alongside her master so that she could continue to serve him in the afterlife. This bizarre ritual was portrayed in the ‘Vikings’ TV series, and is based on an eyewitness account recorded by the Arab explorer Ibn Fadlan during the Viking Age.

12. The Icelandic Sagas are full of sex, both realistic and hilariously ridiculous. In one memorable tale in ‘Brennu-Njals Saga’, a husband is cursed by another character in order to ruin his marriage. Because he refused to sleep with the other woman, she cursed him so that his penis would grow too large for his poor wife to take, thus causing humiliation, discomfort and frustration for them both. But the curse only applied when he tried to sleep with his wife – with any other woman, his penis would return to its normal size!

13. The country of Iceland was founded thanks to sex slaves. A recent genetic study showed that around 80% of Icelandic men’s DNA was Norse, but based on mitochondrial DNA (only passed down the female line), it was discovered that over half of the first female settlers were Celtic! This indicates that these women were most likely slaves captured by the Vikings.

14. Viking men were very sensitive and insecure about their private parts. Women could legally divorce men who didn’t satisfy them, and men suffering from impotence or small penis sizes were often ridiculed. For a Viking Age man, size and performance really did matter!

15. Contrary to how Viking sex is portrayed in the media, it was actually pretty tame. Missionary or doggy style were probably the most favoured positions, as they enhanced a man’s role as a dominant alpha male. Threesomes and orgies did happen, but they were not an everyday occurrence. Although men liked to prove their dominance and general ‘manliness’, sex could also be tender and loving between a couple.

16. Vikings had contradictory laws regarding rape. Servants could be raped, publicly degraded and abused as often as their masters saw fit, but raping a free woman could have some dire repercussions – in extreme cases, rapists could be castrated!

I daresay there’s plenty more I could write on this subject, so I’ll probably write another article sometime. But I hope you enjoyed reading this one!

Knowing the Difference Between Norse and Nazi

Apparently this picture keeps getting reported and removed from Facebook… Just to clarify, this is an Odal rune (also known as Othala). It is an ancient Norse symbol, totally harmless, meaning family/inheritance/ancestry.
Sadly, even a quick Google search shows that many associate this rune with Nazis. In fact, the Nazis DID steal this symbol, but they added wings to it, which makes it a totally different symbol! I would urge any heathen newcomers to read lots of different sources and educate themselves before believing the general consensus.

How to Spot a ‘Brosatru’

Sadly, it isn’t just neo-Nazis who seem to enjoy hijacking our religion… There is a steady stream of new followers who are (sometimes inadvertently) bastardizing our beliefs.

Nicknamed ‘Brosatru’ by some, these so called heathens try their hardest to emulate what they perceive to be the truest stereotype of a follower of Norse paganism. If you’ve never met a ‘Brosatru’, here’s a handy checklist of things to look out for:

Mjolnir pendant. Usually ridiculously big, most likely larger than the guy in question’s penis.

Long hair/’Viking’ hairstyle and beard. Because, ya know, without a beard there’s no way you can be heathen.

• Valknut tattoo (optional). If you ask them what the symbol means, they’ll probably give you an incorrect answer.

• Referring to themselves as ‘Vikings’. Last time I checked, ‘going Viking’ was an occupation, not an ethnicity/culture. Pretty funny considering most of the Brosatru crew seem to work in retail.

Pocket Havamál. Pretending to read it in public places reiterates that you’re heathen, don’t ya know.

• Referring to everyone as ‘brother/sister’. They may think this sounds like a friendly heathen greeting, but to at least 99% of us its supremely annoying.

• Finishing every sentence or comment on Facebook with ‘skål’. They clearly don’t know that the Norse literally only say this when drinking, it’s not meant in the way the average Brosatru interprets it.

• They speak of ‘going to Valhalla’. Apparently they forget that there’s more than just one hall in the afterlife.

I don’t know about you guys, but my Brosatru radar is usually tingling the second I see one of them comment or as soon as I spot their profile picture.

If you quiz any of these people about basic heathen lore, the chances are that they’ll be totally stumped. It’s kind of sad really, because they seem to think that our religion is some kind of trendy, edgy cult. Being heathen isn’t about what you wear, your hairstyle or proving to anyone who will listen that you’re pagan – it’s about your personal beliefs, your actions, how you conduct yourself and your faith in the gods.

No two real heathens are the same, and that individuality is something that we should celebrate, because not many religions allow for such diversity.

If you choose to wear Mjolnir around your neck or grow a beard, that’s absolutely fine. But you shouldn’t do it just because you want to fit a stereotype!

Human Euthanasia: A Modern Heathen’s Perspective

Human euthanasia is a contraversial and sensitive topic which comes up fairly regularly on social media and in discussions with others, so I thought I’d give my own opinions on it and try to weave it into a Heathen perspective.

As Heathens, cowardice isn’t something we want to embrace or encourage. But regardless of that, no matter how well we mask it, we ALL feel pain and fear.

To some, I suppose the idea of euthanizing people is probably abhorrent. After all, it is said that our fates have already been decided, and the dates of our deaths have already been set. Suicide (and let’s face it, euthanasia is essentially suicide) is also frowned upon as it’s seen as an act of cowardice.

But we are now living in a modern age, an age in which we have evolved to think that there is always a way out of whatever ails us. We have become weaker as human beings, both in heart and in body. What happens when modern medicine can no longer help us? Should we prolong our suffering, or the suffering of our loved ones, out of sheer stubbornness even though there’s a better alternative?

Heathens take their legacies seriously; do we really want to be remembered for dying a slow, agonising and undignified death?

Suicide may have been frowned upon by our ancestors, but I think in terms of the age we are living in, it takes a LOT of courage to make such a decision. Of course, there’s a chance that people could abuse it if euthanasia becomes legal, but the vast majority of people will be opting out of a horrible and humiliating death and taking their lives (literally) into their own hands – something which we can all agree takes real courage. Of course these people aren’t going to get into Valhalla, but I’m sure that the gods would still acknowledge their bravery in some way, however small.

The way I see it is: if an animal is suffering, we do the kindest thing (i.e. we put it out of its misery). So why shouldn’t we do the same for ourselves and our loved ones?

Feel free to comment with your own opinions!

Origins of the Gods

As Heathens, we all know the various stories of the Norse gods… But where did they originate from? And how did mankind first come across them?

Without wishing to offend any of the more ‘diehard’ Heathens here, I think it is important to mention first that (in my opinion at least), deities of any kind are definitely man made. They may well be real beings, but I prefer to think of them as the human interpretation of forces of nature and supernatural powers that we do not yet understand. Norse mythology in it’s entirety was invented by human beings as a way for them to explain phenomena (both natural and supernatural) which they could not comprehend themselves. I am aware that my relationship with the gods is less than conventional, but as is my right, I like to put an individual and modern spin on our ancient beliefs. Anyway, moving on…

Our gods and their stories were only recorded on paper as recently as the 11th to 18th centuries, by Christian monks in Iceland, so of course we must take their version of events with a pinch of salt. However, Norse paganism as we know it today is actually derived from a far older religion known as Germanic paganism. Germanic paganism was practiced in all of the northern Germanic countries, most predominantly in the Scandinavian regions.

The various tribes living within the Germanic and Scandinavian regions each practiced their own individual (but very similar) versions of the religion, and experts believe that the primitive beginnings of Germanic paganism date back to, at the very least, the early Iron Age. One of the oldest sources we have available to us is the literary work ‘Germania’, written by Tacitus (a Roman) in around 98AD. This document described the appearance, culture, religion, societal structure and lifestyle of people living in the Germanic regions during Tacitus’ era, although I should also point out that it is not clear as to whether Tacitus himself never actually visited the area, so all of this information could well be secondhand.

Some of the main points covered by Tacitus regarding the Germanic religion were thus:

  • Odin/Woden was the chief god of the Germanic pantheon (he equates Odin with the Roman god, Mercury).
  • The Germanic people regularly offered human sacrifices to their gods.
  • Other gods such as Thor/Donar (equated with Hercules) and Tyr/Tiu (Mars) were also honoured.
  • Rather than creating images of their gods, the Germanic people preferred to set aside ‘sacred’ groves or other areas within nature, which they would use for prayer and honouring their gods. Sacred animals (such as specially chosen horses and cattle) would be housed in such places, as well as effigies of animals associated with the gods (ravens, boars, horses, stags, etc.)
  • Sacred knowledge was passed down orally, usually in the form of songs.
  • A primitive form of Runic language was beginning to take shape around this time, with certain runes associated with each of the various gods/goddesses.
  • Priests could be either male or female – female priests were quite rare in other parts of Europe at that time, even within pagan religions.
  • The Germanic people followed a lunar calendar, and honoured certain gods at certain times of year.
  • Their favoured goddess at that time was known as Nerthus (‘the Earth goddess’). Experts now believe that Nerthus may have been an early interpretation of the more well known goddess, Freya.

Here follows some highlights of what Tacitus tells us of the indigenous religion of the Germanic peoples in the first centuries of the Common Era (these extracts are drawn from Tacitus, Agricola and Germany: A new translation by A. R. Birley, Oxford World’s Classics – most of the information in square brackets is paraphrased from Birley’s notes on the text):

“In the ancient songs, which are their only form of record and are a kind of chronicle, they celebrate Tuisto [literally, “hermaphrodite”], an earth-born God. To him they attribute a son, Mannus [man, ie, the first man], the forefather and founder of their people, and to Mannus three sons, after whom were named the Ingaveones [a north-western tribe – possibly Scandinavians], nearest to the ocean, the Herminones [another tribe – which may mean “of the almighty”] in the interior and the remainder Istaveones [a tribe from the region around the Rhine river]. Remote antiquity gives free range to conjecture: some assert that the God had further offspring and that there are further peoples, called Marsi [who lived near the Ruhr and Lippe river – in this area there was a well known sanctuary to a deity called Tanfana], Gambrivii, Suebi [who lived near the Rhine], Vandili [Vandals]…

It is said that Hercules [probably this refers to Thor/Donar who the Romans, using the interpretatio Romana, identified with Hercules] visited them as well. In fact they sing of him as the foremost of heroes when about to go into battle. Further, they too have those songs, which they call baritus, the recital of which stirs up their courage, and they forecast the outcome of the coming battle from the chanting alone. For they either terrify the enemy or become frightened themselves according to how it sounds in the ranks. What they listen to is not so much the words, but rather the sound of unison as an expression of fighting spirit. By putting their shields in front of their mouths so that their voices swell fuller and deeper as they echo back, they aim principally to achieve a harsh tone and a muffled roaring noise …

[Regarding Germanic soldiers] Executions, imprisonment, even floggings, are allowed to no one other than the priests, and are not carried out as a punishment or on the orders of the commander, but as it were at the behest of the deity whom they believe to be present as they wage war [but note that Caesar, writing 150 years earlier, recorded that the elected army commander had powers of life and death]. They actually bring with them into battle certain images and symbols [eg, effigies of animals sacred to particular deities] taken from the sacred groves.

It is a particular incitement to valour that their squadrons and wedges are … composed of families and kinship groups [ie, clans]. They have their nearest and dearest close by, as well, so that they can hear the shrieks of their women [to give encouragement as they fought or to heap shame upon them if they were driven back] and the crying of their children. For each man these are most sacred witnesses, their praise is the most highly valued … It is recorded that some armies that were already wavering and on the point of collapse have been rallied by women pleading steadfastly, blocking their paths with bared breasts, and reminding their men how near they themselves are to being taken captive. This they fear by a long way more desperately for their women than for themselves. Indeed, peoples who are ordered to include girls of noble family among their hostages are thereby placed under a more effective restraint [Roman emperors often took Germanic children of noble birth hostage, and then raised them as if they were high born Romans, to guarantee ongoing peace with that tribe].  They even believe that there is something holy and an element of the prophetic in women, hence they neither scorn their advice nor ignore their predictions. Under the deified [emperor] Vespasian we witnessed how Veleda [a prophetess whom the Romans described as a “tall virgin whom the Rhine-drinkers worship” – she played a prominent role in the Batavian revolt in 69-70 CE; a Roman commander was captured and sent as a slave to her, along with booty. She herself was eventually captured by the Romans whereupon she became a servant in a Roman temple] was long regarded by many of them as a divine being; and in former times, too, they revered Albruna [perhaps named after the Elbe river] and a number of other women [these women may have been seer-priestesses, as described by Strabo 100 years earlier, who were said to sacrifice prisoners of war by cutting their throats and collecting the blood in a vast cauldron] …

Among the Gods Mercury [here Tacitus has used the interpretatio Romana – in fact he almost certainly refers to the God we know as Odin/Woden] is the one they principally worship. They regard it as a religious duty to offer to him, on fixed days [possibly the spring equinox, summer solstice and/or winter solstice], human as well as other sacrificial victims. Hercules [actually Thor/Donar] and Mars [actually Tyr/Tiu] they appease by animal offerings of the permitted kind. Part of the Suebi sacrifice to Isis as well. I have little idea what the origin or explanation of this foreign cult is, except the Goddess’ emblem, which resembles a light warship, indicates that the cult came in from abroad [the cult of Isis was hugely popular throughout the Roman empire when Tacitus wrote, thus perhaps Isis herself is meant, or perhaps some other unidentified Germanic Goddess is meant; the northern Suebi were said to especially honour the Germanic Goddess Nerthus whom Tactius refers to as “Terra Mater” – literally “Mother Earth”]. In general, they judge it not to be in keeping with the majesty of heavenly beings to confine them within walls or to portray them in any human likeness. They consecrate woods and groves and they apply the names of the Gods to that mysterious presence which they see only with the eye of devotion.

They attach the highest importance to the taking of auspices and the casting of lots. Their usual procedure with the lot is simple. They cut off a branch from a nut-bearing tree [fruit-bearing trees were probably also considered lucky] and slice it into strips. These they mark with different signs and throw them at random onto a white cloth. Then the state’s priest, if it is an official consultation, or the father of the family, in a private one, offers prayers to the Gods and looking up towards heaven picks up three strips, one at a time, and, according to which sign they have previously been marked with, makes his interpretation. If the lots forbid an undertaking, there is no deliberation that day about the matter in question. If they allow it, further confirmation is required by taking the auspices. The widespread practice [in the Roman world] of seeking an answer from the call or flight of birds, is, to be sure, known here too [however Romans tended to focus on the direction of the birds’ flight, whereas to Germanic people the mere appearance of certain birds predicted auspiciousness or inauspiciousness, depending on the species], but it is a specialty of this people to test horses as well for omens and warnings [this was also the case amongst their Indo-European cousins in Persia]. The horses are maintained at public expense in the above-mentioned sacred woods and groves; they are pure white and undefiled by any kind of work for humans. They are yoked to a sacred chariot and the priest or king or chief of the state walks beside them, taking note of their whinnies and neighing. No kind of omen inspires greater confidence, not only among the common people but even among the nobles and priests, who regard themselves as but the servants of the Gods, the horses as the Gods’ messengers. There is yet another kind of auspice taking, used to forecast the outcome of serious wars. They somehow take prisoner a man from the state with which they are at war and set him to fight a champion from the their own side, each armed with his national weapons. The victory of one or the other is taken as determining the result in advance.

… they assemble on fixed days, either just before the new moon or just after the full moon. This they reckon to be the most auspicious starting-point for transacting business. Indeed, they do not reckon time by days, as we [Romans] do, but by nights [ie, their calendar was lunar – as it was amongst the Gauls, and amongst the Romans in more ancient times]. All their decisions, all their agreements, are made in this way: night is seen as ushering in the day …

When the assembled crowd is ready [to make important decisions on matters relating to their community], they take their seats, carrying arms. Silence is commanded by the priests … Then the king or the chiefs are heard, in accordance with each one’s age, nobility, military distinction, or eloquence. The power of persuasion counts for more than the right to give orders. If a proposal displeases them, they shout their dissent. If they approve, they clash their spears [on their shields] …

It is well known that none of the German peoples live in cities and that they cannot even bear to live in adjoining houses. They dwell apart from one another, scattered about, wherever a spring, a plain, or a wood attracts them. They do not lay out their villages in our style, with buildings joined and connected together. Each of them leaves an open space around his house [archeology has established the truth of this statement; 200 years after Tacitus Ammianus wrote that the Alamanni – Germanic tribes from the Rhine region – “avoid towns as if they were tombs encircled by nets”] …

As clothing they all wear a cloak fastened with a brooch or failing that with a thorn. They spend whole days by the fireside wearing nothing but this. The wealthiest are distinguished by a garment, which does not flow loosely, as with the Sarmations and Parthians [Sarmations and Parthians were known for their baggy trousers], but fits tightly and shows the shape of each limb [ie, they wore tight fitting trousers] … The women’s clothing is no different from the men’s [ie, high born women wore trousers too, however most Roman depictions of Germanic women show them in long, sleeveless gowns] except that they quite often wear linen garments, decorated with purple. They do not add sleeves to the upper part of the dress, so their arms are bare from shoulder to wrist – indeed, the adjoining parts of their breasts are also exposed.

Nevertheless, the marriage code is strict and there is no aspect of their morality that deserves higher praise. They are almost the only barbarians who are content with a single wife, except for a very few, who are not motivated by sexual appetite – it is, rather, that they are courted with numerous offers of marriage on account of their noble rank …… adultery is very rare [Tacitus means adultery as understood in ancient Rome – that is, when a married woman is unfaithful. Men were only guilty of adultery if involved with another man’s wife]. The penalty for it is instant and left to the husband. He cuts off her hair, strips her naked in the presence of kinsmen, and flogs her all through the village. They have no mercy on a woman who prostitutes her chastity. Neither beauty, nor youth, nor wealth can find her another husband …

For drink they have a liquid made out of barley or other grain, fermented into a certain resemblance to wine [ie, beer] … Their food is plain: wild fruit, fresh game, or curdled milk. They satisfy their hunger without elaborate preparation or seasonings. But as far as thirst is concerned they are less restrained: if you indulge their intemperance by supplying as much as they crave, they will be as easily defeated by their vices as by force of arms …

There is no ostentation about their funerals. The only special observance is that the bodies of famous men are cremated with particular kinds of wood [possibly oak, beech, pine and juniper]. They did not load up the pyre with garments or spices. Only the dead man’s weapons in each case, in some cases his horse too, are cast into the flames [ie, great warriors will only need their weapons, and perhaps their warhorse, in Valhalla]. The tomb is a turf mound. They disdain a lofty and elaborately constructed monument as being an honour that would weigh down the dead. They soon leave off weeping and lamenting but are slow to put aside their grief and sorrow. It is the honourable thing for women to mourn, for men to remember the dead …

The Semnones claim that they are the oldest and noblest of the Suebi. Their antiquity is confirmed by a religious rite. At a fixed time deputations from all the peoples who share the same origin meet in a wood sacntifed by their forefathers’ augeries and by ancient dread. A human victim is slaughtered on behalf of all present to celebrate the gruesome opening of the barbarous ritual. Another form of reverence marks the grove as well: no one enters it unless bound with a chain, as an inferior being, outwardly acknowledging the power of the divinity. If they happen to fall down, they are not permitted to get up on their feet again: they roll along the ground. This whole superstition is based on the belief that from this wood the people derives its origin and that the God who reigns over all [probably Odin/Woden, who Tacitus says was the primary God of the Germanic pantheon, and who was known to receive human sacrifices; alternately, an unknown ancestor deity of this tribe, or Tyr/Tiu] dwells there, the rest of the world being his obedient subjects. The good fortune of the Semnones gives them prestige as well …

[Among the Suebi there are seven tribes] the Reudigni [possibly Saxons by another name], Aviones, Anglli [Angles], Varini, Eudoses, Suarines, and Huitones, protected by rivers and forests … they are distinguished by a common worship of Nerthus, that is, Mother Earth, and believe that she intervenes in human affairs and rides through their peoples [in what is modern day Denmark and NW Germany]. There is a sacred grove on an island in the Ocean, in which there is a consecrated chariot [or wagon], draped with a cloth, which the priest alone may touch. He perceives the presence of the Goddess in the innermost shrine and with great reverence escorts her in her chariot, which is drawn by female cattle. There are days of rejoicing then and the countryside celebrates the festival, wherever she deigns to visit and to accept hospitality. No one goes to war, no one takes up arms, all objects of iron are locked away, then and only then do they experience peace and quiet … until the Goddess has had her fill of human society and the priest brings her back to her temple. Afterwards the chariot, the cloth, and, if one may believe it, the deity herself are washed in a hidden lake. The slaves who perform this office are immediately afterwards swallowed up in the same lake. Hence arises dread of the mysterious, and piety, which keeps them ignorant of the what only those who are about to perish may see …

Among the Naharvali a grove of ancient sanctity is pointed out [said to be near modern day Wroclaw]. The presiding priest is dressed in women’s clothes [ie, long robe and a head veil], but they say that their deities, according to the Roman interpretation, are Castor and Pollux [twin brethren who helped warriors, especially horsemen, in battle]: that is the character of their Godhead, of which the name is the “the Alci” [possibly related to the Ašvieniai of the Lithuanian pantheon]. There are no images and no trace of the rite being imported, although they are worshipped as brothers and as young men …

Passing then to the right-hand shore of the Suebian Sea, here it washes the peoples of the Aestii [possibly ancestors of modern day Lithuanians and Latvians], whose customs and appearance are those of the Suebi … They worship the Mother of the Gods [presumably Nerthus] and as a symbol of that cult they wear the figure of a wild boar [note that boars were associated with Freya, which suggests that Nerthus was an early name for Freya] …”

Experts believe that it was towards the end of the Iron Age that Scandinavian and Germanic peoples began to separate themselves more, thus diversifying their respective beliefs. Many of the ancient deities remained the same, but their practices began to evolve into the more commonly known Norse pagan religion.

But, whilst fascinating, this information doesn’t actually answer our original question – how did the very idea of such gods come to be?

Well, that is unfortunately subject to individual opinion and interpretation. As I said previously, my personal belief is that human beings invented the gods as way in which to explain the world around them. But it has to be said that pretty much every pre-Christian culture has had its own religion, all of which involve deities which parallel each other. For example, as with Tacitus equating the Germanic gods with his own Roman deities, the Norse gods (and even Norse mythology) can also be equated to a plethora of different cultural beliefs worldwide. If you research virtually any polytheistic religion, no matter where it may originate from, you can basically guarantee that there will be almost identical deities within each respective pantheon. So how did all of these ancient cultures, most of which never had contact with each other during those times, manage to randomly invent such similar deities?

Some believe that it may be mankind’s interpretation of a visiting alien race; whilst this may seem a little far-fetched to some of you, I think it is worth keeping an open mind. After all, none of us truly knows for sure what is out there! The ‘Annunaki Theory’ is a hypothesis regarding a race of aliens who embarked upon a series of experiments which eventually led to mankind’s creation. According to this theory, this alien race (who’s origins are unknown) wanted to populate the Earth. In order to build their cities which were supposedly full of technologies far beyond our wildest dreams, they needed slaves who would be intelligent enough to fulfill the tasks required of them, but also submissive enough not to rise up in rebellion against their alien masters. So, using the DNA of both themselves and apes which already lived on Earth, the aliens created human beings.

In Egyptian hieroglyphics, tall and otherwordly beings are portrayed. In basically every polytheistic religion, deities usually resemble either humans or animals, but with a supernatural aura about them. The Norse gods are mostly described as human-like in appearance, but they possess powers far beyond the reaches of us ordinary mortals. There are also plenty of giants within Norse mythology, which indicates that larger than normal beings did once inhabit our planet.

In most polytheistic religions, deities are able to fly either by themselves or with the aid of animals or strange aircraft (the aircraft-like modes of transport mostly being depicted by the ancient Egyptians). Thor’s chariot is pulled by goats, and Freya is carried across the skies by boars. Perhaps therein lies a clue that our gods may be loosely based upon this mysterious alien race, who could apparently fly and were described as humanlike with supernatural powers?

I am by no means saying that this theory is in any way true… It is simply one of the many endless possibilities, and until we have definitive proof of what DID happen back then, it is worth keeping an open mind and exploring such theories!

If you came here expecting to read about the true origins of our gods and religion, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I am only posting about what we know so far. If you have any differing opinions or theories, please feel free to post them in the comments below!

Sources: ‘Germania’ – Tacitus; ‘Agricola and Germany: A New Translation’ – A. R. Birley; Romanpagan @ Blogspot.

Why The Modern World Will Be The Death Of Us All

Have you ever felt super stressed out, and lost amid the rat race that is modern life?

It’s no surprise really, because human beings were not built to survive such a hostile, fast paced environment. There’s an old saying: “live fast, die young” – it has a ring of truth about it, because our world is progressing at a rate which our bodies simply cannot cope with.

We were designed to live off the land, eating only organic foods. We were designed to breathe clean, fresh air and interact with one another face to face. We were meant to live hard, but not stressful lives. People nowadays who have full time careers often die before the age of 50, either from health issues directly attributed to work pressure or suicide. That statistic is yet more proof that we are not cut out for the modern world.

In order to combat this, we need to go back to nature as often as possible… Leave technology at home, immerse ourselves in the wilderness, and connect with the earth once again. Even just a 10 minute walk in the countryside once a day can make a lot of difference!

Just a little food for thought… Don’t allow yourself to be consumed by modernity!

Origins of the Vikings

When we think of Scandinavian history, the first period that springs to mind is usually the Viking Age. But where did they originally come from? And who were the ancestors they so proudly honoured?

For ease of reading, I have compiled the following timeline. Much of the information came from Wikipedia, but it has been confirmed by other sources.

11,000 BC: The first humans arrived, after the Scandinavia Peninsula thawed at the end of the last Ice Age. This thawing signaled the start of what is now known as the Nordic Stone Age. The first people to explore the northernmost regions were originally from central Europe – nomadic hunter-gatherers attracted by the abundance of reindeer (mammoths and other large prey were becoming extinct).

12,000 BC: Despite visiting the area semi-regularly in search of food, these nomads didn’t start to build permanent settlements until this time. Once the ice had fully receded, tundra plains began to appear in Denmark and southern Sweden. This environment was an ideal habitat for the reindeer, so various tribes (referred to as the Hamburg culture) would follow the seasonal migrations. The people of the Hamburg tribes hunted over vast territories, living in teepees. This era was known as the Upper Paleolithic.

11,400 BC: Over time, the barren tundra gave way to forests, flora and more diversified fauna. The Bromme culture arrived in southern Scandinavia and the southern Baltic. These were the first human beings to truly explore this wild, untamed wilderness.

10,500 BC: 1000 years of cooling climate change had replaced the forests with yet more tundra, meaning that people were once again living a nomadic lifestyle, heavily reliant on reindeer. During this period, the Ahrensburg tribes became the first to settle the far north of Scandinavia.

9,500 BC: The climate began to warm yet again, allowing the Ahrensburg clans to live more comfortably in the north, and on a more permanent basis.

7th millennium BC: The Mesolithic era had begun. Forests were once again established, although the reindeer hunters were still inhabiting the northernmost regions. Meanwhile, the Maglemosian culture now lived in large areas of Denmark and southern Sweden. In Norway, and along the coast of western Sweden, the Fosna-Hensbacka people lived in seasonal camps along the shores, close to the forests. Stone Age tools and boats allowed these cultures to survive in an often harsh and unforgiving land. The northern hunter-gatherers still followed the reindeer herds, as well as the salmon runs, alternating their locations with the changing seasons.

6th millennium BC: Scandinavia’s climate was becoming generally warmer and more humid, covered in temperate broadleaf forests – a stark contrast to the region we know and love today. Large prey (such as aurochs, wisent, moose and red deer) roamed freely in the forests, and were game for the tribes of what we now know as the Koogermose culture. The Koogermose also began hunting marine animals such as seals. The Nostvet and Lihult cultures (other hunter-gatherers) now occupied most of southern Norway and Sweden. These were descendants of the Fosna-Hensbackas. Sea levels rose gradually. The tribes in the far north continued their way of life, while the Koogermose were replaced by the Ertebolle culture.

5th millennium BC: The Neolithic era had now begun. The Ertebolle people learned the art of pottery from neighbouring tribes in the south. They also learned how to keep animals and cultivate the land.

4th millennium BC: The Ertebolle tribes merged with those of the Megalithic Funnelbeaker culture. The Funnelbeaker tribes expanded into Sweden. The Nostvet and Lihult learned technology from their neighbours, but not agriculture. They then merged to become the Pitted Ware cultures towards the end of this period. Stuck in their primitive ways, the Pitted Wares pushed the farming tribes into south western Sweden.

3rd millennium BC: Despite multiple tribes living close to one another, scholars believe that they may all have spoken a common tongue from around this time. This language is now known as the Pre-Germanic Indo-European dialect. It is not known what languages the earlier settlers spoke. This new language was probably the basis of the modern Nordic languages. The new tribes were cattle herders, and fiercely territorial. They are nicknamed the Battle-Axe culture due to their fondness of the weapon.

1,700 – 1,500 BC: The Bronze Age had now begun. Farmsteads and agriculture were in abundance throughout much of Scandinavia. Longhouses and helms (four-post structures) began to spring up around this time. Burial mounds, building foundations, rock carvings, tools and weapons from this era have been found in large quantities all across the region, particularly near the coast.

5th/4th to 1st centuries BC: The Iron Age had begun. The Nordic Iron Age is usually split into two categories: pre-Roman and Roman, characterized by the presence (or lack of) Roman artifacts discovered by archaeologists. Existing tribes in Scandinavia came into contact with the Hallstatt culture. Iron was now being produced in great quantities.

4th – 6th centuries AD: The Migration Period had begun, with various tribes from all over Europe uprooting themselves and settling elsewhere. The Germanic tribes traveled further north, as did the Slavs, Huns, Goths, Vandals and many others. This was a time of great turbulence, with wars breaking out between the different clans on a regular basis. The Roman Empire was crumbling, and these so called ‘Barbarian Invasions’ was one of the main catalysts for its downfall.

550 – 790 AD: The Vendel Period had begun. The migrations that had caused widespread upheaval all over Europe had lessened significantly, and the Catholic Church was beginning to expand its influence. Old Uppsala was the centre of religious, cultural and political life for the Germanic clans who occupied most of northern Europe. Scandinavians began to export furs, iron and even human slaves to central and eastern Europe. Mining and the production of iron was very lucrative during this era. Swedish expeditions to several regions such as Ukraine and Russia by river were allowing Scandinavians to build trading connections with many far-off places. ‘Tafl’ games were popular during this time. It appears that Norse religion had evolved enough by this point to be almost recognisable as the beliefs we know, love and share today.

793 – 1066 AD: The Viking Age had arrived! Norsemen had created technology (such as longships) which enabled them to travel all over the known world. They began firstly as traders, exporting their goods overseas; after the sudden and vicious attack on Lindisfarne (off the Northumbrian coast), they earned their reputation as fearsome, bloodthirsty warriors. They embarked on a reign of terror, colonizing, raiding, raping and pillaging as they went. There are many theories as to why the Vikings suddenly turned violent, the most recent (and, in my opinion, most plausible) of which is that it was in retaliation to the Christian church’s ‘convert or die’ ultimatum. Norse paganism was in its prime, and most of what we know about Scandinavian medieval history comes from artifacts dating back to the Viking Age. The Vikings were pioneers in every respect, from politics and societal structure, to trade and inventions. They were actually very forward thinking considering the age in which they lived, although sadly the history books portray them in a far more negative light!

Sorry for such a long post, but I hope you found this journey into Scandinavian pre-history as fascinating as I did! Apologies if I made any mistakes – I’m no archaeologist, I’m simply an enthusiast! I collected much of this information online, and from what I’ve read in the past. I hope that the timeline was mostly accurate. Feel free to let me know in the comments if you notice any mistakes!

I will be writing another article soon, about the origins of the Norse religion, which will hopefully show how Norse paganism evolved throughout the centuries. So watch this space!

 

 

 

 

The Uncomfortable Truth

We in Europe are, once again, under attack… But this time not from the Vikings!

Our culture, heritage and lands are being threatened by the humungous surge of foreign migrants descending upon our continent.

Many will no doubt label me racist for my views, but that would be a lame attempt at changing the subject by the brainwashed, liberal, politically correct millions who believe these migrants to be genuine asylum seekers. Perhaps some are genuine – but when I see footage of supposedly penniless immigrants arriving in designer clothes and holding top of the range iPhones, it makes me more and more certain that the vast majority are simply taking advantage of the laxity of our laws.

Most are male, who leave their wives and children behind in their war-torn homelands. If they really wanted to escape that hell and build a new life for their families, surely they’d bring said families with them? Something just doesn’t add up!

According to the latest statistics, native Europeans aren’t reproducing enough to counteract the swathes of non-indigenous offspring being brought to or born on our lands. By 2050, it is estimated that white Europeans will be a minority, and Islam will reign supreme. This isn’t about skin colour at all – this is about preserving our culture before it is eradicated forever.

Islam is not native to Europe. Neither are Christianity or the other Abrahamic faiths, but it is fair to say that they at least have evolved a great deal, whereas Islam is still stuck in the dark ages.

The media wants us to believe that Islam is all about peace, tolerance and love… But how can that be so, when their own holy book orders Muslims to kill all non believers and wage war on the rest of the world? I am by no means saying that all Muslims are extremists – there are plenty who have enough common sense and basic moral decency not to take the Koran literally – but Islam is by its very nature a religion of extremism.

Those who cry out ‘racist’ should probably invest in a dictionary, because this isn’t about race, it is about beliefs. It has been proven time and time again that Islam cannot happily coexist within other cultures… They can’t even coexist peacefully amongst themselves, so what hope is there for the rest of us?

In Mosques all over Europe, hate preachers are raising children to hate western culture. They are indoctrinating their flocks, slowly recruiting them to the ‘Jihad’ cause.

In fact, such hate preachers are very open about their views… Yet no one has the balls to stand up and fight against them, for fear of being labelled as a racist!

Radicalised Muslims are raping our women, destroying priceless artifacts from our past and breaking our laws. They have no desire whatsoever to abide by our rules or respect the countries they live in. They are living by their own backwards laws, slaughtering their own daughters ‘for honour’, and forcing them to marry their own relatives.

While our governments continue to pander to this army of foreign invaders, giving them privileges far beyond what the average native could hope for, and allowing them to slowly infiltrate and destroy us from the inside, we are doomed.

2050 is not that far into the future, and the warning signs of approaching extermination are already there for anyone with half a brain to see. Unfortunately, unless we stand up and be counted, this will most certainly end in our destruction. In a few years from now, we will be given an ultimatum: convert or die.

This may sound over the top, but I can assure you that it’s the truth. By allowing your countries to become Islamified, you are committing treason.

A thousand years from now, what will be left of our wonderfully varied and unique European history? Our leaders want diversity, but Europe already has that in abundance!

Please do not assume that I want you to go out and incite violence or hatred against your local Muslim community… That is not what I am aiming for. What you SHOULD do is petition your governments, spread the word, and refuse to back down in the face of our imminent fate, lest you contribute to the destruction of your own culture.

#EuropeHasFallen