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michael Daly

on 14 January 2014

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Norse Mythology is one of the oldest Polytheistic Religions to come out of Europe and was the main religion of the Vikings.
The Vikings were fierce warriors and explorers from Scandinavia of Germanic background.

They passed down their Religion orally from generation to generation.

The vikings explored and settled many areas of the globe such as England, Ireland, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, and some even say they made it as far as the United States.
Until the arrival of Christianity Norse Mythology was the only religion practiced by the Norse.
However once Christian missionaries converted the Scandinavian people they burned any and all religious texts about the pagan religion they could get their hands on.
So what is known about Norse Mythology is from the few surviving manuscripts and oral stories we have today.
So Norse Mythology was a polytheistic religion that believed in many Gods that represented forces of nature.
The religion is also very similar to Greek and Roman Mythology, and historians today think the two may have been linked.
For instance Odin who was the main Norse God who ruled over all other gods, had many sons and daughters, and also was god of lightning.
Zeus who was the main Greek God also ruled over all the other gods, had many sons and daughters, and was also god of lightning.
Valhalla is the Norse heaven, ruled by Odin, and is were the fiercest warriors go after they die in battle they are taken up by the Valkyrie in there chariots along a rainbow.
The other half of those who died in combat went to Freya's field and home Folkvangr, containing the hall Sessrumnir.
Ragnarok was the norsemen's idea on how the world would end and be reborn.

Filled with natural disasters and the death of some major figures such as Odin, Loki, Freya, Heimdallr, and Thor.

Everything would be consumed by water and after the remaining Gods would meet, and two human survivors would repopulate the earth.

Odin was the father of all the Gods.
He is often accompanied by both the ravens and two wolves.
He also had many sons, the most well known being Thor.
Although Christianity banned the practice of the pagan religion it is now believed many Norse in places like Iceland practiced it up to the present day!
Ásatrúarfélagið is the biggest non-christian religion in Iceland. Being the oldest religion in the country, their faith is based in the old Nordic mythology. In Iceland this religion is one of the fastest growing. It´s members counting 1700 today with only 98 members in 1990.
Like the Greek god Hades the Norse also had a god of the underworld. Only there god was a goddess whose name was Hèl.
It is widely believed by many historians that the christian word Hell comes from her name.
Being a warrior culture the Norse believed that the greatest honor was to die in battle.
The ultimate goal for all Norse men was to get to Valhalla which meant you had to be a strong warrior.
Odin wasn't only the king of the gods he was also the smartest being in all the universe and could see the future.
He became the smartest being by trading one of his eyes (which he graphically rips out of his eye socket) to drink from the well of knowledge.
Hoff is the new Ásatrúarfélagið temple that is currently being built in Reykjavik, the capitol of Iceland.
Modern Norse Weddings
The Valkyrie were female warriors who were like angles who would after a battle come down to Earth and transport the souls of killed warriors to Valhalla
So the Norse believed that the universe was like a tree and that the different worlds were connected to one another like branches and roots.
Tree was called Yggdrasil
The two worlds of ice and fire combined and they created the universe.
Modern Norse Mythology is a Neo-Pagan Practice that has been revived in some parts

However in some places of the world like Iceland people have practiced in secrecy up to the modern day.
One group that tried to revive Norse Mythology was the Nazis.
When the Nazis came to power in Germany Hitler wanted to unite all germanic people and some started cults based of Norse teachings.
For instance Heinrich Himmler who was Hitlers secondhand man, believed he was the reincarnation of a great viking warrior, and also conducted strange cult-like rituals in his castle based off Norse Mythology.
Only the bravest would be chosen by the Valkyire.
The Norse Religion today is actually very peaceful and reflects more on the elements on nature and beauty, they have also developed very liberal beliefs as well.
For instance one element of nature that is sacred to the modern Norse neo-pagan church is water.
This element is used in almost all ceremonies and is meant to represent the knowledge Odin gained from the Well of Knowledge.
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