Ask a Viking
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10-08-2012, 12:53 AM
RE: Ask a Viking
(10-08-2012 12:51 AM)sillinde Wrote:  You'd have to be an earl or some other bigshot, and die in combat. You don't die in combat burning the ship serves no purpose.

I bet christianity would gain more followers if they offered free raping and pillaging.

How about having the most posts and likes? Would that get me a burning ship? Big Grin

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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10-08-2012, 12:56 AM
RE: Ask a Viking
The burningship is to guide the Valkyries down to the slain warrior and carry him up to Valhalla, I'm not sure you can die from posting the most likes or if it counts as combat. But worth a shot right?

Actually met a guy on the viking festival i was attending this weekend who, when dressed in full costume, was in his wedding dress. Had to have been an awesome wedding...
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10-08-2012, 01:42 AM
RE: Ask a Viking
Hey Gaest.

Do you pillage villages and rape their women?
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10-08-2012, 07:50 AM
RE: Ask a Viking
As the Viking chief said to his not-very-bright crew,
"Remember, men, it's rape, pillage, plunder, then burn."

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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10-08-2012, 08:26 AM
RE: Ask a Viking
(10-08-2012 12:09 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  Gaest, I'm curious about your using the term "myths" to refer to the stories of the gods. It seems as if you know these are just ancient legends, and many of them conflicting with each other or lacking much real information, yet you still claim to believe in the Norse gods anyway. Can you explain how you reconcile myths with belief?

And also, is there an accepted canon of literature like the Christian bible that you refer to as believer?

Oh, and one more: how popular is this religion? As I mentioned earlier, I really had no idea anyone worshiped Norse gods.

You could actually make an argument for not calling them myths at all, since they are written down as "stories" in the middle ages, and are not as such refereed to as myths in the texts themselves.
That´s not really the most common line of thinking though, and several of the stories we have from the medieval literature, have been traced back to pre-Christian times where they would have been used as myths.


There is a corpus of medieval literature which tells us about ON mythology, historic events and so on.
In this corpus there are segments which is or reflects heathen thinking, mythology, practices and then there is a lot of medieval/Christian pollution which has to be sorted away - IMO.
Then we have archeology which can tell us a lot too.

We need to make some distinctions here:

There are a lot of text. 1) Some of this text reflects heathen religiosities, 2) some of this text reflects Christian theology added in the middle ages, 3) some of this text reflects syncretism from the heathen period itself, 4) some of it reflects Classical teachings from the middle ages, 5) some of it reflects secular theories and agendas from the middle ages.
IOW, it is not strait forward.

Scholars have for the past 100 years tried to make heads and tails of this, so today we have a pretty good idea about most of the material.
Since I naturally go for the material which seems to be genuinely heathen, it of course narrows it down a bitSmile

There are still contradictions of cause, the reasons for these contradictions could be that 1a) there was no greater central institution to dictate myths and their meanings all over Scandinavia, which of cause means that myths, stories, gods and religious practices had local variations, 1b) some groups probably associated/concerned themselves with particular deities and myths. 2) The poetry and the myths works in individual settings, so that details can change as long as the bigger constants aren´t changed: It does not matter that Odin have to crawl into the mountain as a snake, and are somehow able to fly away from the, apparently closed, mountain cave as long as the bigger picture is the same: The gods prevail, Odin outsmarts the giants, shags the girl, and is successful in his quest.

The myths are stories we tell about the gods, not divine handouts, they have valuable lessons to teach, such as the myth of Balders death, which not only tells about funeral rites and cosmology, but also that you can cry all you want but people do not come back for the death.

There´s no canon in that sense, and no revealed scripture, for me it pretty much comes down to sources value. A poem like Havamál is pretty popular among Asatru, since it has a lot of useful advice - it is not divine laws though.

In Denmark I guess there are a couple of thousands who would label themselves as Asatru if asked. USA has the biggest population, but I don´t really know how many.
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10-08-2012, 08:40 AM
RE: Ask a Viking
(10-08-2012 12:28 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  Oh...and another question...

How does one "worship" the Norse gods? Are their special rites and rituals you follow?

Good question.

They ceremonies is usually in two stages:

A sacrifice - this is a "do ut des" relationship so I have to offer something of worth to them - I usually sacrifices to wooden idols, but sacred trees and lakes are not uncommon too.
Historically human sacrifices happened occasionally but this practice is of cause abandoned today (or is it Evil_monster ). The sacrifices I give range from a basic meal and beer/mead/booze to live chickens and silver - I have taken part in the sacrifice of a goat too.
In case of the living sacrifices they are usually hallowed to the gods and killed, the blood is stained on the idols, and the meat is cooked and eaten at the feast.

A feast - where we drink to Ár oc Frith (a good year and peace), tell stories, eat, make toasts and drink some more.

The main sources for this is Ibn Fadlans account of the Rus vikings, and descriptions from sagas.
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10-08-2012, 09:05 AM
RE: Ask a Viking
But... I don't get it. You *believe* in these Gods? Despite that you seem to have detailed knowledge of the whole myth making process? You guys are pretty strange... possibly unique among religions in accepting archaeological findings...
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10-08-2012, 10:11 AM
RE: Ask a Viking
(10-08-2012 09:05 AM)morondog Wrote:  But... I don't get it. You *believe* in these Gods? Despite that you seem to have detailed knowledge of the whole myth making process? You guys are pretty strange... possibly unique among religions in accepting archaeological findings...

This is what I was thinking when I asked about understanding the myths.

Thanks, Gaest, for answering my questions. My personal opinion is it's an outdated and thus silly belief, but I find it very fascinating and I think you do a great job of explaining what you believe. I appreciate you taking the time to answer. I guess the *why* you believe is the part that's hard to understand.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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10-08-2012, 10:14 AM
RE: Ask a Viking
(10-08-2012 10:11 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(10-08-2012 09:05 AM)morondog Wrote:  But... I don't get it. You *believe* in these Gods? Despite that you seem to have detailed knowledge of the whole myth making process? You guys are pretty strange... possibly unique among religions in accepting archaeological findings...

This is what I was thinking when I asked about understanding the myths.

Thanks, Gaest, for answering my questions. My personal opinion is it's an outdated and thus silly belief, but I find it very fascinating and I think you do a great job of explaining what you believe. I appreciate you taking the time to answer. I guess the *why* you believe is the part that's hard to understand.

So, Gaest, a simple yes or no:
Do you believe in the existence of the Norse gods?

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10-08-2012, 10:18 AM
RE: Ask a Viking
(10-08-2012 10:14 AM)Chas Wrote:  So, Gaest, a simple yes or no:
Do you believe in the existence of the Norse gods?

Yeah, that's a good question. It almost sounds like you practice the rituals out of a sense of history and tradition rather than actually believing in the reality of existing gods.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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