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…

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Get off my Boat! Jarl Haakon resists Conversion

Harald Bluetooth tried to force covert Jarl Haakon, but he and his men weren’t having anything to do with that. Most of the early Christian conversion attempts on the Norse people were done by means of entire communities converting as a whole rather than individual conversions.  Mass conversions were usually carried out by methods such as demanding conversions through subjugation. The subjects of a leader would be forced to convert.  Typically, the Norse leader or King would convert to Christianity themselves and as an opportunity to solidify their power, they…

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Ivar the Boneless and the Great Heathen Army

Ivar the Boneless was one of the leaders of the Great Heathen Army that invaded the lands now known as England. In Old Norse, he is known as Ívarr hinn Beinlausi and in Old English as Hyngwar. Ivar the Boneless was the son of Ragnar Lodbrok and Aslaug. He and his half brothers, Björn Ironside, Halfdan Ragnarsson, Hvitserk, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye and Ubba, had all grown up and set out to prove themselves as equals to their father. The half brothers raided and made wars far and wide. They conquered such places as Zealand, Reidgotaland (Jutland),…

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Redbad, The Last Pagan King of Frisia (Northern Netherlands)

King Redbad refused to convert to Christianity because he, “preferred eternity in Hell with his pagan ancestors than in Heaven with his enemies.” Redbad (also Redbod or Radbod) was the King of the Frisians from 680 AD until his death in 719 AD. He is often considered the last independent ruler and the last pagan ruler of Frisia before Frankish domination. The previous ruler of Frisia, King Aldegisel, had welcomed Christianity into his realm.  Aldegisel harbored and protected Wilfrid, the deposed Archdiocese of York, who had just been exiled from Northumbria.  On his way to…

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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…

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