- Are you from Denmark?
- Are you appropriating the Viking culture?
- Are you a Viking?
- How many gods are there in the Norse pagan religion?
- Why does the Norse Creation story sound very close to the Christian creation story?
- Were the Vikings Danish?
- Given the evolution of theology, why study Paganism?
- How do you explain when a child passes unexpectantly?
- How do you explain cataclysmic events throughout the world?
- If you had to say, what would be the single most damaging tactic used by those newer religions (Christianity)?
- How do you live as a modern-day American-Dane Pagan?
- You bring up the concept of politics, are you political?
- You speak negatively of Christians, are you against Christianity?
- I study Norse too, will I go to Valhalla?
- Ask Us a Question of your own.
Here are some questions answered.
I am not. I was actually the third generation of my family born in the United States. My great-grandmother was born in Denmark, while my great-grandfather was born in Germany. The couple immigrated to the United States in the late 1800s (1896 to be exact). However, I have begun to learn the language, as well as completed a substantial, comprehensive study of the peoples, the culture, and the history of Denmark. Prior to my great-grandparents immigrating to the United States, the clan had lived in Denmark for 15 generations, dating back to the 1400s where my research had run into some challenges. My Germanic family tree extended over 8 generations within North-Western Germany. So, I have an extensive family lineage in Denmark.
I am not. Culture is adopted by the individuals who decide to embrace it. Although attempting to manipulate culture to match the needs of the individual damages the overall appearance of the original culture. However, as personal discoveries are made, whether they be pictures in the attic, or DNA searches through ancestral sites, the idea that one can begin to align the celebrations of their heritage is what has driven the explosion of particular cultures worldwide. They say, that imitation is the best form of flattery, so too must be the adoption of an ancestral culture. I arrived at the adoption of my Danish heritage in a much different way than many, I arrived academically. I studied religions throughout the world and listened to my heart in discovering what made the most sense and felt right in my heart. This is where I have arrived. Home. Home, with an 18 generation heritage from Northern Denmark.
I am not. However, I celebrate the accomplishments of my family’s history and understand that all able-bodied men of Denmark between 900 and 1100 spent their lives working the farm while taking time to perform raids along the (what is today) French coast, and particularly along (what is today) England’s coastlines returning the riches acquired by the churches there to the average people. My ancestors traveled as far south as the Mediterranean Sea in establishing trade routes.
No. Paganism is the understanding that coexistence with the spirits of the planet is an essential part of life. No different than that of mainstream religions, the primary difference is the absence of named individuals. Norse paganism recognized that one’s destiny was the sole responsibility of each individual, reserving the names of the referred to as the Norse Mythology as role models who possessed the attributes that we humans should seek to emulate.
Technically, going back to the earliest transmission of the practice, we know that most early Germanic-Danes did not see the (later described as) Norse pantheon as Gods. Most actual Vikings would have referred to those listed as “ancestors” who have great abilities and could accomplish great feats because of their personal skills which became “legends”. So, for all intents and purposes, those named individuals throughout the sagas and other stories were humans who crossed over the BiFrost. Life in these early days was all about “the self”. Making the appropriate changes in one’s life to ensure that Verðandi sewed a life’s tapestry of honor and valor. Due to the arrival of the written language at or about the time of these monotheistic practices arriving in Germany and Denmark, those scribes (who were typically practicing Christians) translated the oral traditions and legends in a negative fashion in order to attempt to sway the population, as they did not understand the full breadth of the beliefs/practices. In addition, these original scribes were attempting to convert the pagans to their new practice and beliefs, so many of the stories were given a negative twist.
Much of what we know about the Germanic-Dane or Norse legends come from the Christian authors who migrated north from the religious practice’s birth in the middle east, to eventually overwhelm the locals by convincing the royalty of the day. My supposition here is that those authors plagiarized much of those stories to provide a lineage for their newly developed practices. You can quickly see many similarities between the much older Germanic legends and understandings woven throughout what would become Christianity. In addition, in most cases, the similarities would assist in quicker adoption due to the perceived lack of change by the common population of the time.
Yes, but not the only ones. There were many establishments throughout the “Age of Vikings” that would spread out throughout all of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The Danish Vikings, also known as Danes, were the most politically organized of the different types of Vikings. This is why Danish kings played a greater role in Viking invasions long before Norwegian/Swedish Vikings. The Danes were the strongest of the Norsemen both in political and military power. They were also the first of the three to convert to Christianity (almost entirely by the end of the 9th century). The Danish Vikings wanted to discover and pillage the West. Their focus was put on France, England, and the Mediterranean parts of the world. The Danes were the original “Vikings”. The bulk of the raids came from Denmark, Southern Norway, and Sweden (the areas around the Kattegat and Skagerakk sea areas).
I do not give any credence to the “so-called evolution” of monotheism that conquered much of the entire world. Monotheism was developed as a psychological form of controlling the masses that had come to existence by that time in history. By controlling the population using guilt/shame, as well as the imagined authority for punishment, this form of worship to monotheism allowed individuals to obtain and retain powerful positions while getting incredibly wealthy. Monotheism is the first recorded time in history when humans celebrated the “haves versus the have nots”, and promoted the robbing of the poor to support this new practice.
Technically they do not pass unexpectedly. Before our birth to our physical bodies, we are given our lifespan by one of the Nornir sisters, Urðr. Ultimately we know how long we have to spend in our physical forms, therefore it is only those people around us who feel the loss. The good news is that once we live our physical forms and appear before Skuld, she reads our tapestry to determine which hall we will spend our time in before Ragnoräk, where we all will join the remaining ancestors to rebuild and live again.
It is life. No one ever said it was going to be easy. Events happen within our lives to teach us things. Whether it’s the emotional growth from loss, or how to make better things, there are lessons to be learned in all the events that happen. The idea is to learn from them. This is ultimately the overall objective of having a physical lifetime in the first place. Its when we are distracted from our primary mission of learning that we can find ourselves with a tapestry that doesn’t get written the way we wanted.
The single most damaging psychological portion of these new religions is the guilt/shame cycle that is based on one person’s implementation of what they wanted the society to exhibit. This idea of “sin” has caused more psychological issues than any other single practice. Whenever I counsel friends, I ask them about their beliefs when it comes to “sin”, and in almost every case they credit their belief in these monotheistic practices. Whether it’s the actual practice, or their attempt to rebel against that belief, nonetheless this single practice has caused the most psychological damage. In addition, the United States was founded on these same types of beliefs, so many of our current laws reflect this, thereby adding to the guilt complexes that many carry the burden of.
Believe it or not, it actually makes living a “normal” life easier. As my life isn’t dictated by anyone else’s definition of “right or wrong”, I find myself capable of avoiding the emotional maelstrom that follows life’s decisions, particularly when that choice may go against what the “church” says I should do. My everyday function is about providing the best I can for my friends, and family, without having to concern myself with meeting any prerequisite set out by people who really don’t know me, or my situation. While I ensure that I stay within the confines of the localized “laws” to avoid conflicts there, within the privacy of my own home I am free to be myself without guilt or shame. I have fewer concerns about offending others, and more concerns about making sure I take care of myself without giving credit to some imaginary “deity” while shouldering all the blame, I get to keep both, credit and blame.
No. I hold no, nor would I hold, any office of legal standings or political affiliations, I distrust them all equally. I am a simple man who has been given the gift of extended sight into the life and times of my ancestors. I have come to honor and respect my heritage and embrace it entirely. I am opinionated, stubborn, and quite frequently, a nuisance. But, I have a gift of having deep-seated peace in my heart and mind and look to help others to find their balance.
No, I recognize that each individual must choose what works for them to provide them comfort and peace of mind. While I recognize the absolute truth in the practices of my ancestors, I am cognizant of what some people feel is the right thing for them, and if that practice gives them strength and comfort, then by all means continue that. The difference here is that I will not condemn you to a place called “Hel” because you believe differently than I do. As a counselor for a great group of people, I am saddened at the psychological impact that the value judgments have had on the masses, and wish the impact could have been accomplished in such a way that the retribution to the average belief system wouldn’t be so ingrained in today’s culture.
No. According to the legends, and sagas of those early Germanic Danes who established these beliefs, only half the warriors who die in battle, and lived honorably will be invited to eternally reside with Ódinn in Valhöll (Valhalla), while the other half will be invited to Fólkvangr with Freyja. However, if you do not die in battle, you will still be invited to reside eternally with our ancestors in Ásgarðr, it will simply be in another great hall in which feasting and drinking is an all-day affair, after all, there are nine realms and many different great halls with the gods. Most will be invited to Lundar with the beautiful side of Hel, where you will enjoy a peaceful forest setting and moderate weather until Ragnoräk where all will be restored.