Paganism vs Heathenism, is there a difference?

Where do the terms pagan and heathen come from and what’s the difference? The word pagan is a Latin term which means “nonparticipant” (paganus) or more accurately, “country dweller” or “civilian” in contrast to being “Soldiers of Christ”. “Pagan” was used by Christians in Anglo-Saxon England to describe non-Christians.  Latin was the spoken and written language of the Christian Church at the time, so it is of no surprise they would use a Latin word to refer to those not members of their church or religion. It wasn’t until the…

Read More

The Norse Creation Story

The Story of creation according to the Norse. In the beginning of everything, there was a realm called Niflheim (also known as Neflheimr). Niflheim was located on the northern side of the Great Void the Norse called the Ginunngagap. The Ginunngagap was the Mighty Gap of nothingness between realms. Niflheim was a dark and cold place that consisted mostly of ice and frost. Everywhere in Niflheim there was a mist from which it gets its literal translation of its name, ‘Mist Home’ or ‘Mist World.’ In the frozen mist realm…

Read More

The Christianization of the Norse

The Christianization of the Norse took place between the 8th and the 12th centuries. It was a gradual process that took considerable effort by Christians. Christian clergy attempts to convert the Norse proved to be difficult. The Norse people were quite content with their own gods and simply did not wish to be converted. In many cases, conversion was only achieved by force. Prior to Christianization, the traditional religion of the Norse people was firmly in place. The Norse religion wasn’t just a form of worship, it was a part…

Read More

The Apple of Life from the Garden of Iðunn

Iðunn is the Norse goddess tasked as being the keeper of the golden apples that maintain the eternal youthfulness of the gods. Since the gods are not immortal, the apples are considered to be very precious. The Apples of Life come from the garden of Iðunn. Iðunn (also Idun, Idunn or Ithun) is the wife of the Norse god Bragi, who is the god of poetry. Since the gods are not immortal, the apples are considered very precious. (How to pronounce Iðunn <Listen here> or <here-click blue triangle to listen> /ˈɪːðʏn(ː)/  : -ɪːðʏn – Sounds like:…

Read More

Are Odin’s Ravens Muninn and Huginn symbolic for his Mind and Soul?

The Norse god Odin has two ravens, named Muninn and Huginn. Each day the ravens, Huginn and Muninn, fly over Midgard (Earth) and then later return to bring Odin information about the happenings of that day. In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning (chapter 38), the enthroned figure of High tells Gangleri (king Gylfi in disguise) that two ravens named Huginn and Muninn sit on Odin’s shoulders. The ravens tell Odin everything they see and hear. Odin sends Huginn and Muninn out at dawn, and the birds fly all over the…

Read More

Valheim Hof in Denmark, dedicated to Odin and the gods

A new temple dedicated to the Norse god Odin and other gods has opened in Denmark. Is it the first Odin’s temple since the Christianization of Scandinavia, which took place between the 8th and the 12th centuries.  The year 1188 AD marks the triumph of Christianity in Denmark with the canonization of St. Canute (Sankt Knud), the patron saint of Denmark.  Since then, the old ways native to the Danish folk was suppressed for centuries.  Finally, as the old ways become re-embraced into Danish culture, a temple rises to hail the way. It is…

Read More

Fólkvangr, Freyja welcomes you to the Field of the Host

Fólkvangr is a meadow or field ruled by the Norse goddess Freyja. It is where half of those that have died in combat go upon their deaths. The other half go to the Norse god Odin in the Halls of Valhalla. Fólkvangr is attested in the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda.  Fólkvangr is a field where Freyja receives half of those who died in battle and it is also the name of a ship. Both the field and the ship are attested in the Prose Edda. Their are three primary places where…

Read More

The Nine Noble Virtues – Life Codes to Live by

The Nine Noble Virtues are a set of moral and ethical guidelines based on virtues found in historical Norse paganism. The Nine Noble Virtues were gathered from various sources including the Poetic Edda, especially the Hávamál, the Sigrdrífumál, and in the Icelandic Sagas. The Nine Noble Virtues are: Courage (Valiance) Truth (Sincerity) Honor Fidelity Discipline Hospitality Self Reliance Industriousness (Diligence) Perseverance The Nine Noble Virtues explained: Virtue 1 – Courage (Valiance) Courage is the ability of someone to do something even though frightens them or when they are scared.  To do something that you know is difficult or…

Read More

How the Norse named their Children, the Rite of Ausa Vatni and Nafnfesti

When a child was born, there was a great deal of ceremony conducted by the Norse in claiming and naming their children. Prior to the Christianization of the Norse, the traditional religion of the Norse people was firmly in place. The Norse religion wasn’t just a form of worship, it was a part of their culture and way of life. A belief system that was so deeply rooted that it made the concept of the original sin and other Christian beliefs just too hard for the Norse people to understand…

Read More