Freyr_by_Johannes_Gehrts.jpg
"Freyr" (1901)Author: Johannes Gehrts

Common Beliefs of the Norse Pagan Society


Most historical accounts of pagan society and rituals are written long after the conversion from paganism into Christianty, therefore most of the original pagan practices cannot be determined without questioning. However, Norse mythology, such as The Prose Edda , does give
the most well known information and stories about the Norse gods of medieval Scandinavian culture. In later years, both Muslim and Christian contemporary authors have produced written accounts about some of the pagan rituals, even though most of the pagan rites had been hardly written about before because paganism was looked upon as evil.


Gamla Uppsala
( For more photos click here )
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/sweden/gamla-uppsala.htm

An excerpt from Adam of Bremen's Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum :
" Now we shall say a few words about the superstitions of the Swedes. That folk has a very famous temple called Uppsala, situated not far from the city of Sigtuna and Björkö. In this temple, entirely decked out in gold, the people worship the statues of three gods in such wise that the mightiest of them, Thor, occupies a throne in the middle of the chamber; Wotan and Frikko have places on either side. The significance of these gods is as follows: Thor, they say, presides over the air, which governs the thunder and lightning, the winds and rains, fair weather and crops. The other, Wotan -that is, the Furious--carries on war and imparts to man strength against his enemies. The third is Frikko, who bestows peace and pleasure on mortals. His likeness, too, they fashion with an immense phallus."

The excerpt above decribes the Uppsala temple, located in the village of Gamla Uppsala in Sweden. This was the central location of many of the pagan sacrifices as well as the buriel ceremonies of Scandinavian royalty.

Norse Pagan Rituals for the Gods
Sacrificial ceremonies were conducted inside and outside of the Uppsala temple by preist- chieftans known as, "godars." who were assigned to a specific god to offer sacrificies. Sacriffices would be made due to important events, such as war, marriage, plagues..etc. Human and animal sacrifices would occur. During what was known as the Festival of Froblot, which occured every nine years during the winter solstice, nine people would be sacrificed by being hung from a tree until their bodies would rot away. Another sacrifice involved lowering a person into a well and if their body disapears, then the gods will answer their prayers.

Funerals
According to the Ynglinga Saga written by Snoori Sturlson in the 9th century, Odin established a law that not only the dead should be burned, but also their belongings. Then everyone could go to Valhalla with their things that they had in their life. Huge firery burial mounds were common for royalty at this time.



Citations
The Viking Gods: Norse beliefs, sources, and sagas . <http://chesterfieldpagans.org>.
< www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/mythology.>
< http://www.feri.com/dawn/religion.html.>
Gamla Uppsala. http://www.sacreddestinations.com/sweden/gamla-uppsala.html.
"Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum" by Adam of Bremen Book 4 Sections 26-27
Image "Freyr" is by Johannes Gehrts Source: Felix Dahn, Therese Dahn, Therese (von Droste-Hülshoff) Dahn, Frau, Therese von Droste-Hülshoff Dahn (1901). Walhall: Germanische Götter- und Heldensagen. Für Alt und Jung am deutschen Herd. Breitkopf und Härtel.