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The new face of the old Norse gods

The new face of the old Norse gods

Odin. via


A new temple to the old Norse gods is under construction in Iceland, around a thousand years after Christianity largely replaced the old religion in Scandinavia.

The Guardian quotes the high priest on the modern approach to Thor, Odin, and their cohort.

“I don’t believe anyone believes in a one-eyed man who is riding about on a horse with eight feet,” said Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, high priest of Ásatrúarfélagið, an association that promotes faith in the Norse gods.

“We see the stories as poetic metaphors and a manifestation of the forces of nature and human psychology.”

The round temple will be sunken into the hillside and covered with domed, skylit roof to capture the changing seasons and will host weddings, funerals, naming and initiation ceremonies, along with other rites.

Posted by Rosalind Hughes


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Marshall Scott

I would note that while it is accurate to say that Christianity has “largely replaced” pagan practice, there has always been a community in Iceland to maintain that practice. This is unlike the practice we have seen in Europe and North America of individuals and communities recovering pagan traditions for contemporary practice (“pagan” with a small p because there is more than one tradition from our pre-Christian ancestors currently in practice).

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