Norse Paganism: The Norse Religion During The Viking Age

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Norse Paganism

Norse Paganism or The Norse Religion spanned across Scandinavia during the Viking age which lasted from late 8th century to mid 11th century. The Christianisation of Scandinavia ended both the Viking age and the widespread practice of Norse Paganism. The Norse Religion has some exaggerated misconceptions such as Norsemen being merciless raiders that would do anything for gold. However, most Norsemen were farmers and lived peaceful lives raising livestock and worshiping their Gods. Viking’s first contact with the Christian world yielded trade routes between Scandinavia and islands close to Europe. While Viking warriors were fierce fighters that didn’t fear death or the cut of a blade they had a more peaceful side.
Norsemen believed in many Deities that stood for both great things such as the sea to rituals or objects that you see or do in everyday life. Some Deities include Baldur, God of Light, Freyja, Goddess of Abundance and Fertility, Frigga, Goddess of Marriage and Prophecy, Heimdall, Protector of Asgard, Hel Goddess of the Underworld, Loki, the Trickster, Njord, God of the Sea, Odin,
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The dead were buried in graves, wooden chambers, boats, or stone crists. They sacrificed animals at the burial as a promise to safe passage through the afterlife. Much like common culture crows were a sign of death and the reaper. They way Norsemen died determined which God or Goddess they went to. For example, those who died in battle went to Valhalla with Odin, those who died at sea went to the sea Goddess Ran, and those who died of disease went to the underworld Goddess Hel. The rise of a ghost or Draugr was due to an improper burial or the spirit coming back to seek revenge on the people that wronged him/her. To prevent the summoning of a ghost or Draugr people are taught how to bury the dead

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