Nordic Ancient Religion Essay
The ancient Nordic religion has been around since the age of Vikings in the northern regions of the world such as Scandinavia, Norway, Iceland and surrounding countries - Nordic Ancient Religion Essay introduction. The Norsemen, as they were often referred to, started out as Germanic tribes who possessed some similarities with the Celts. Ancient Nordic Paganism is a polytheistic religion, meaning they believe in a many superior beings much like Hinduism. The Nordic like every other religion have a creation story which is quite similar to the aboriginal creation story.
It is said that there were two lands, one made of Ice (NIFLHEIM) and a land of fire (MUSPELLHEIM) and between them an empty space called Ginnungigap. The story says that the fire and ice moved towards each other; when they collided, the universe came into being giving life to two living things (YMER) a giant and (AUDHUMLA) a cow. From these living things sprung the first gods (ODIN, VILE and VE). In Nordic society the three brothers (gods) are considered the creators of humanity because Odin created the first humans from an elm and ash tree.
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A principle belief in Nordic culture is the World tree (YGGDRASIL) is the centre of the Nordic universe. The tree is a symbol for stages of life, death and after-life. The very top canopy represents heaven (ASGARD) where Odin lived, the middle section was considered the human world (MIDGARD) and finally the lowest level (HEL) which is considered a place of death. Unlike many other religions that have Heaven or Hell as a final destination after death, Norse myths indicate that there are many possible locations.
Half of the heroic, battle-slain warriors go to Freyja’s field, Folkvangr. She is said to get first pick. Helheim is the neutral realm where most people go upon death. Helheim is ruled by the goddess, Hel (or Hela). Oathbreakers and other dishonourable people are eaten by Niddhog, a dragon. Those who die at sea are said to enter another hall. However, most Asatruar do not believe in the myths literally. Some believe in reincarnation along family lines. Still, others believe that the dead inhabit their graves.