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There are many things about the old Norse culture and belief systems that fascinate me. One of them is the idea that gods can and will die (which isn’t unique to this system, but very different to the Abrahamic religions which look at eternity and divinity quite differently). Another is the warrior culture that is ultimately part of preserving the universe against chaos, as every warrior is needed and need to hone their skills to help in the cyclic reboot of the world. Half a millennium later Meyer echoes the same sentiment; that trained warriors are needed to safeguard civilization, or else it is doomed to fall.

It is also fascinating to see how the pantheon seems to be built up of different tribal religions of different regions, some worshipping the more chaotic, darker and violent but also life giving sides, like the Axe/Club/Hammer cults, the Thunder God spread out with different names all over Europe ranging from Greece & Rome to Slavs, the Sami & Finland, the Myth of the Wild Hunt common again all over Europe, the Raven god, the Fertility & Hunting gods like Njord, Frej, Freja, Ull and so on, all of them later functionally replaced by saints in some of the Abrahamic religions.

It’s a fantastic mix of ideas created by quite few people and many distinct cultures, over a very long period of time and spread out over a very large area. That exchange is really very fascinating.

Likewise the deeper ideas embedded into the systems are really fascinating and I regret that no teachers of religion at school ever bothered to even approach the subject with any degree of seriousness, instead just turning it into weird fairy tales with no deeper meaning and little value, completely missing out on the complex ideas and the intentional naming of things. Like e.g. these things: