Monday, April 27, 2015

Ancient Aliens - 'The Viking Gods'

ANCIENT ALIENS - THE VIKING GODS - Alien/UFO... by artforall101

This episode of the History Channel's 'Ancient Aliens', from 2014, focuses on the Asatru/Odinist belief system. Mostly on "the gods." Even if one doesn't find this applicable in this context, there is still some interesting information. Actually the pantheon and mythology of Asatru is not only "Viking," but the Odinic historical story was very prevalent among the Teutonic cultures of central Europe, and beyond. For example, there were Odinic cultures in southern and eastern Europe. Technically, they aren't "Norse gods" as much as they're "Germanic gods"; in the same way as Roman Catholicism isn''t "an Italian religion." The Icelandic name "Asatru" is merely the name agreed upon. Also, there was at least Odinic cultural/spiritual influence; such as if you search this blog for 'Odin worship of the Lombards & Benevento': Part 1 and 'Odin worship of the Lombards & Benevento': Part II.

The wonderful Odinic "hof" portrayed in the TV series 'Vikings'

Romans and Vikings

On the PAL blog, the Romans are a common subject due to their tremendous and undeniable influence on was to become "the northern nations" or what the Romans called "Gallia Cisalpina." On this blog, the Vikings are a common theme due to the fact that they were such a big factor in Europe and beyond; combined with the fact that they were the last of the European pagans. The last European pagan nation, and a powerful nation; right at the time when Christianity was engulfing the continent by force and coercion. The only downside to that is that Asatru is commonly thought of as "a Viking religion," rather than a European culture.

Both the Romans and Vikings have held a certain fascination for people today; perhaps the reason for so many depictions in movies. Both good and evil are projected. In think in both cases, their "gods" are a source of wonder. The Roman Empire projects strength even today. For example, important governmental buildings, courts, and monuments still are constructed in the Greco-Roman style. The Roman society was organized, had beautiful architecture, and could also be brutal. The Viking ship is still a symbol of awe and fear. The concept of fierce pagan warriors invading Christian civilization is still in the psyche of the West.

A few thoughts on the TV series 'Vikings'

I haven't written anything on season three, which has just concluded, because there isn't a lot to say about it other than it's a good series. It's been renewed for a fourth season. "The Viking religion" was a common theme during season three. It was particularly shown as an influence as they invaded Paris in the 'To the Gates' episode, with Floki asking for favor from his gods. The battle was truly Christian vs. Asatru. As they were starting to lose, Floki dramatically blamed it on not gaining the gods' favor. As the season progressed, the Christian vs. Asatru theme was depicted in other ways; although Viking King Ragnar himself finally converted to Christianity. Floki, the main hardline "Asatruar," murdered Ragnar's Christian friend Athelstan. I still haven't seen the final episode. Some Asatruar online were unhappy with the portrayal of the Odinic seer or holy man depicted as so badly disfigured... presumably because there weren't many other reference points towards Asatru shown. Also, the tradition--in this way--was portrayed as dark, secretive, occultic, and maybe even a bit evil... when in fact it was an open and living tradition just as the other traditions were. I think the popular series will create more interest in the modern version of Asatru/Odinism.

Stephen McNallen
A few good Asatru-related videos

My Christian Testimony and the Norse Gods, by Heathen Voice, is a sincere account of a mans progression from Christianity to Asatru. These accounts can be interesting, and comparative. A recent video entitled Iceland Builds First Norse Temple Since Viking Age!, by ShantiUniverse, is about a news item which is really an important development to Asatru worldwide. Viking Pagan Folk Song - Yggdrasill by Jacob Isenhower. BBC The Viking Sagas, by Valdimar Vilhj√°lmsson, is a good hour long documentary by the BBC. Asatru - Native European Roots by Splendora; written by Stephen McNallen. AFA Great Northwest Freyfaxi, by Stephen McNallen, was an AFA Odinic gathering last August in the Pacific Northwest. 

Paige Montague
Ancestry and Spirituality... together

On one video by pagan Paige Montague (Sionmach the Celt on YouTube), she spoke with a few pagan symbols around or on her... as well as a Scottish flag in the background. I like the idea of tying those two related concepts together. Both symbols are, I believe, open to the greater idea of themselves... as well as a symbol of how they relate together. That's really what a "native believer" is. They believe in the native spirituality of their ancestors. 

On a separate note, I have no problem with the term "pagan" as something of a catch-all term.. not necessarily even capitalized. The word originally meant "country dweller" in a negative way. One who believes in "the old ways"... and now (in the Middle Ages) relegated or banished to "the country"... with all sorts of negative connotations attached to it. However, those "old ways" were THE ways for 40,000 years or more! Some people and organizations don't like the word.


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