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Transcript of Nordic Religion
prior to the Christianize of Scandinavia, specifically during the viking age.
It is a subset of the Germanic paganism.
There purpose was the survival and regeneration of society. What is the Nordic Religion? The world first came about when a Northern and southern land, Niflheim and Muspellheim joined together.
Nifihiem is extremely cold and Muspellhiem is the complete opposite, a fiery hot land.
When these lands joined together and the reaction of the opposing temperatures caused the ice to melt, creating the first two living creatures Ymer, the giant and Audhumla, a female cow.
Due to these living creatures, the first Gods were created (Odin, Vile and VE), and from them the first human beings were created by Odin from an elm and Ash Tree. Beliefs of the Nordic People Disagreeance between Ymer and the God’s, the giant was killed and from his body, landforms and other living races were created.
The gods were revered by many as they were the creators of the races and established the different parts of the world, the world tree or Yggdrasil included.
The Yggdrasil is one of the principal beliefs in Nordic religion as it was known as the centre of their nordic universe, the world tree was said to have held nine different realms within its branches. Beliefs of the Nordic People Continued.. The Scandinavians did not leave any written sources on religious practices, and christian texts on this subject are bias because the Christians viewed the Nordic beliefs as superstition and devil worship.
Archaeological evidence has been discovered but is hard to interpret in isolation from written material. Communal meals in connection with sacrifice are mentioned in several sources and are some of the most described rituals. Masked dancers, music, and signing may have been common parts of these feasts are also shown from these sources. Sacred texts/or writings The realms were situated in different areas of the tree at the top, within the canopy; Asgard (heaven) was located. This is where many gods lived including Odin in Valhalla.
In addition to Asgard two other realms Vanaheim (home of the fertility god) and Aflheim (home of light elves) were located at the highest level of the world tree. These realms were known as “divine”.
Norse folk believed that Midgard, the middle section of Yggdrasil held the human world. Along with midgard, Nidavellir, Jotunheim and Svartalfhiem, home of the dwarves, giants and dark elves were also present here. Beliefs Continued... Engagaing in correct behaviour was a matter of honour
Honor was made up by a set of behaviours as opposed to being its own virtue.
These honors varied from sub-culture to sub-culture, but for most part involved concepts such as:
Vridu - modernly understood as Frith. This was the notion of protection, i.e. both defensive and offensive pre-emptive strikes to ensure the safety of the sippe.
Triuwe - modernly understood as Troth. The concept of allegiance and the maintenance of such condition via oaths.
Hoher Muot - translated as higher mood, i.e. high spirits which is a state of self assurance, optimism and affirmation of life. Ethics Sacrifice was a key role in most of the rituals of the Nordic people. Communal feasting on the meat of sacrificed animals, together with the consumption of beer or mead played a major role in the calendar feasts of the Nordic. These sacrifices were used to ensure the fertility and growth of all on Earth. Rituals and ceremonies Important goddesses can be found in the place name material that has shown they are often place names connected to the goddess Freyja near place names connected to the God Freyr.
One of the most important symbols and places of the Norse religion was the ship. Sources show that it played a central role in the cult from the Petrogylphs and razors of the Bronze Age to the rune stones of the vikings. Interpretation of this meaning was connected to the mythical material is only possible for the late period, when mainly it was associated with death and funerals. Sacred spaces and Symbols Examples of Sacred Symbols (2008, 11). Ancient Religions- Nordic, Principal Beliefs. StudyMode.com. (online) http://www.studymode.com/essays/Ancient-Religions-Nordic-Principal-Beliefs-1152771.html Retrieved 11/10/2012
"Norse Religion." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (online) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norse_religion Retrieved 27/11/12 Bibliography Romuva Troll Cross Odin's Horn Thunder cross Spirit Ship Wealth and Generousity - Wealth was looked upon as being important, but also if one was wealthy, then one would need to be generous with ones Folk to accrue honour. To be stingy, although one was wealthy one would gain no honour.
Courage - This was required in all things, and was an integral part of honour. The simple fact of the matter is that during the time-frame of our ancestors, physical violence, or the ability to be physically active to engage in trade was necessary, and hence one needed the courage to get off ones backside and get out there amongst it, for life was a dangerous activity.
Fame - Intimately tied to luck, and in some ways a result of other areas of behaviour, which can then be directly tied to honour. One could be of a famous line, but without behaviours which accrued additional honour, ones fame could decline. Having a good name amongst ones folk was a sign of high esteem.
Religious punishment was only accorded within sacred places (reported by Tactius). Outside of that it is the Folk who enforce their own standards of honor and behaviours. Ethics continued...