Ask the average person to describe the aesthetic appearance of a typical ‘Viking’, and immediately, from the depths of their cognition, they will invariably begin with the horned helmet. The stereotypical and long-clichéd, off-the-rack, standard-issue ‘Viking’ with the rugged, fierce expression of extreme violence, while constantly sporting his twin-horned accessory of murder, mayhem, pillage and rape. An image which has become so deeply entrenched within the subconscious of the human mind, that for most people to even imagine a Viking not wearing a horned helmet is inconceivable; even laughable.
Yet, not a single archaeological record of a Viking horned helmet has ever been uncovered. Nor will a Viking horned helmet ever be discovered. The so-called horned helmet of the Vikings simply did not exist, and no Viking head has ever been adorned with a horned helmet, except in the illustrations of countless novels, historical text books and popular comic books, and along with the portrayal of Vikings in cinemas and on TV screens.
Before we explore the reason for this stereotype and how it came to represent a distant culture which flourished in Scandinavia over a millennia ago, and one which went on to become one of the most powerful, technically advanced and deeply spiritual cultures humanity has ever produced, we first have to look at where else we can identify an entity represented by two horns protruding from the top of its head. Of course: the Devil himself. That enemy of Christianity and the same ungodly representation of countless evil and terrors inflicted upon the innocent and pious.
When we let this realisation sink – in that the image of the Viking and the image of the Devil are precisely the same fused archetypes, and were both created by the same monotheistic cult leaders in the guise of Christianity’s emissaries – then you, have uncovered that everything we think we know, and think we understand about the Vikings is a colossal exercise in Christian propaganda which exists right up to this very day.
The stereotype of the Viking horned helmet was, and still remains as nothing more than a propaganda device to target the subconscious fears of the observer, leaving us in no doubt that these ‘devils’ from the north were clearly apostates to everything that God-fearing people hold dear.
To uncover the story of who the Vikings really were – in terms of their culture, their art, their technology, their spiritual traditions – and even more importantly, why most people do not know these facts about the Vikings along with the Norsemen’s and Norsewomen’s factual human identity as both complex and magical people, the blame must be unapologetically placed upon the early Christian church. The extremely prejudiced, bigoted and fearful bombastic, apocalyptic and near psychotic Christian propagandists, working in the service of royal dynasties intent on keeping their weaponised new mythology of Christian kingdoms in the service of an alien Middle Eastern god forever in tact and entrenched within the minds of their subjects.
The Vikings on the other hand were a people who were brilliant navigators of both the seas of the Western Hemisphere and of the soul, also tells us much about the world we live in today. Chances are for millions of people all over the world, the Vikings are our ancestors, our kin and family whom we have failed to honour and cherish.
EXILES AMONG THE WAVES
There was a time when the people we have come to know as the Vikings were not a sea-faring culture at all, but rather, like their Gaelic and Saxon fellow pagans within the north west of Europe, a society firmly adhered to the land while cultivating their collective survival from the soil. It was during this early period of the Viking story that their mythology was developed, as a result of a deep and intimate connection to natural world. The Viking mythology was profoundly bonded to the forests, the mountains, waterways, animals and the pantheon of Nordic nature spirits which connected the natural and spiritual world to that of the human experience.
Almost identical to differently named deities and archetypes which they shared with the other European pagan tribes around them, these gods and goddesses of the Vikings were often a mixture of uniquely Nordic/Scandinavian deities, along with a common distillation of supernatural hybrids of what were originally Saxon/Germanic, and going further back, ‘Celtic’ gods and archetypes. This is the primary reason why the Vikings, who, eventually became a people of the seas, retained such a complex and rich mythology pertaining to mountains, forests, caves and glaciers. By comparison, the Norse mythology relating to the seas is far less common within the Viking spiritual tradition.
The Vikings were a peoples who developed within something of a cultural and spiritual state of increasing claustrophobia, constrained by the nearby advancing Christian world, and the frozen tundra of the Arctic regions. Sandwiched in between the north and south in the regions we know today as Lapland and central and northern Denmark, and east and west between the Atlantic coast of present day Norway, and across to the south east of Sweden. Within this enclave of untamed wilderness and the colourful night skies of Aurora Borealis, arose the womb where Viking mythology had gestated.
In the regions to the south of the Viking homeland were the tribe know as the Angles, and further still, to the south of them, the once mighty Saxon power base which performed as a rapidly deteriorating buffer against the advancing Christian hordes slashing and hacking their way though ‘heathen’ lands in order to entrench a completely alien Middle Eastern monotheistic cult upon the psyche of these pagan peoples. An extremely intolerant faith of ‘One Absolute God = One Absolute King = One Absolute Law’ without compromise or fallacy. A royal dynastic psychopathic dream come true, resulting in a nightmare from which Europe and lands conquered later by the European colonial powers, have still not fully awakened from.
ODIN AND SLEIPNIR
Long before the Vikings took to the seas, they had been somewhat of a geographical and culturally isolated people within Scandinavia, even so, they were bordered by very similar tribes with cross-over, or near identical pagan belief structures and mythologies. The major deity of the Vikings Odin, was the Scandinavian derivative of the Germanic Wodan or Wotan. Odin is the supreme leader of the Nordic order of supernatural entities who resides in the kingdom of Asgard. When compared the cut and dry, simplistic and generally psychopathic nature of the god of the Christians, Odin complexity and archetypal diversity within Viking spirituality makes him something more akin to a human holy man, such as an accessible, heroic Druid-god, than that of a powerful and ominous entity looking down on upon the world of men and judging them accordingly.
Odin is the deity of wellness, mortality, wisdom through personal trial, magic and poetry. Unlike the ‘all knowing, all seeing’ Christian god, Odin is known to go on knowledge-seeking expeditions beyond Asgard leaving his wife, and mother of Thor, the prophetic Frigg, to embark on quests for new and deeper wisdoms. His dualistic nature of being a god of both war and sonnets, with respect for social conventions, while at the same time providing for the eccentricities of social misfits and rejects, makes Odin – his names translate as the ‘Master of Ecstasy’ – a particularly powerful archetype for artistic and adventure types. Especially if your culture is one that needs to radically change from an agricultural based society to the sea-faring trading and military-insurgent society.
Only able to communicate to humans though the medium of poetry, Odin visual representation as that of a bearded, middle aged man with a single eye, wearing a large hat, and wearing a cloak woven from black and blue material, while holding the magical spear or Gungnir, created from a branch of the world tree Yggdrasil, instantly creates a visual image of the god as not being much different than many Viking males of the time in terms of appearance.
On either side of Odin are his companions; rge salivating wolves named Geri and Freki, and perched upon either of his shoulders are the two ravens Huginn and Muninn who bring Odin information from the world of men back to Asgard. Again, the humanity of the Nordic gods is expressed with Odin occasionally arguing with his wife Frigg over his ability to perform his exploits before riding across the universe or into the underworld of Hel on his grey horse with eight legs named Sleipnir.
This means of cosmic transport; Sleipnir, along with Odin riding upon this steed would suggest a metaphor for shamanistic experiences. Which also indicates why the Berzekers in their own trances considered themselves to be Odin’s personal guards. Unlike the Christianity of the Middle East, Odin, and entire Nordic pantheon of gods contained within them far more humanistic qualities to their nature than the blood thirsty and jealous Jehovah of the Christians. Like all pagans supernatural archetypes – not just Nordic, but also Celtic, Gaelic, Slavic and Saxon – the gods and goddesses where not just up-on-high controlling human destiny, but were also down here among everyday pagan life and culture.
BERSERKER OR ÚLFHÉÐNAR
The poor soil of Scandinavia, coupled with short growing seasons, and being forever nestled within limited cultivatable lands; constricted between vast mountain ranges and immense forested wildness, served further to create this sense of cultural and economic earthly claustrophobia. The struggle to farm this land, coupled with the increasing populations led occasionally to inter-clan violence within Viking society.
However, there is no hard evidence to suggest that inter-clan violence was any worse in Scandinavia than anywhere else in Europe at the time. Such times of internal conflict would have also been used to developed weaponry and military training and hence, represented more than just subjugation and victim hood. Likewise, the need for diplomacy and co-operation would have also been a factor resulting from this factional in-fighting.
It is also likely that during this agricultural period of Viking society that the concept of the Berserker (Úlfhéðnar) – the warrior who worked themselves into a ferocious trance while wearing the skin of an animal; generally a wolf or a bear – arose within Viking society. Norse mythology is filled with references to the Berserkers and their almost shamanistic like fighting qualities. Believing themselves to be literally Odin’s foot soldiers upon this earth, they were said to be immune to fire and and could fight even with major wounds inflicted on their bodies during battle.
The term Bezerker is probably derived from serkr (animal skin) and ber (bear). Again, just like the naked and woad painted Picts of northern Scotland, or the Fianna of the Irish and Gaelic Scots, the Bezerkers were no different than any other ‘elite’ fighting force common to all European tribes. Their ominous trances when going into battle – also mentioned in the other European warrior cults – was most certainly a result of ingesting psychedelic plants, combined drumming on their shields with their swords and axe handles. The reputation for the Bezerker’s ferocity also performed an important propaganda purpose; as invading warriors are less likely to attack a community of Vikings with Beserkers among their ranks. Thereby ensuring a sense of security and stability on both sides.
THE CHRISTIANS ATTACK
With the accession of Charlemagne, or Charles the Great (742-847), to the Frankish throne in 768, and then becoming the King of Italy within a decade, Charlemagne became – and this is extremely significant from the point of view of the Vikings – the officially recognised and sanctioned Roman Emperor of Western Europe and leader of the Carolingian Empire. An empire which would not last to see a complete century of power, but would change Europe forever.
The eighty-eight years of Carolingian fanatical Christian war upon the pagan peoples of Europe, their culture, their mythology and their festivals was as efficient, as it was fanatical. The initial, and primary target of Charlemagne was the conversion of the Saxons to Christianity. In 782, Charlemagne ordered the forced baptism of all Saxons within lands captured by the Carolingian armies. When nearly five thousand Saxons who were captured at Verden – close to present day Denmark – refused to convert, Charlemagne had them all put to death. The massacre sent shock waves around Europe and especially into Scandinavia. It was designed to do just that
With this single, brutal act of wholesale religious and cultural genocide, panic flared within Northern Europe as fleeing Saxon refugees reported to Vikings communities of the atrocities they had been subjected to by the sword of Christendom in the hands of Charlemagne’s missionaries. Men of the ‘one true, and merciful God’ who made sure to murder the Saxon leaders and their most prestigious warriors firstly, and in full view of the also doomed Saxon peasants, so as to send a message that their entire existence, and all that they represented was to be wiped from the face of earth in the shadow of two crossed sticks of wood with the effigy of of a slaughtered Hebrew ‘carpenter’ from the Middle East nailed upon it.
When the tales of the Verden slaughter filtered into the Viking world, this was the moment – after no doubt much meditation within the deep forests of the north, along with intensive discussions by burning fires – when the Vikings took the monumental decision to become insurgents upon the seas rather than wait to be put to the Christian sword upon the land, as has been done to their Saxon neighbours.
What happened next is one of the most remarkable cultural shifts in human history; the Vikings, from western Norway, to the lakes of rivers of Sweden, and all the lands in between where the people of Odin, Thor and Freya lived their pagan lives – almost on the level of Carl Jung’s ‘collective conciousness’ – looked at the mighty forests around them and came to a monumental decision. Within and among the pagan gods of the great forests of Scandinavian, residing deep with within the lower poles of their cognition, they beheld their own salvation from the Christians; they would begin to built ships. Long ships.
SALVATION FROM THE TREES
The forests had long served the Viking people from before they began to build their mighty long ships, not only for building their homes and tools, but also providing the firewood around which they told their sagas of magic and heroes through the long dark nights of the Nordic winters.
The spirits which danced among the natural world and within the flickering and glowing embers of their pagan fires
only added a pyrotechnic transcendental etherealness to the unfolding narratives told by their elders within the sacred groves of the blot. The blot being the name for these natural clearings within the woods were ceremonies and magic were performed. The Viking, had no need to build grand cathedrals, their gods were all around them within the natural world, and within the blot inside the forest groves they found both their oracle and their hallowed ground.
Like all native peoples, the Vikings with their primal association with the forests, along with the practical uses of the material of wood, was so much more more than just the simple procurement of a natural resource. Each tree would have had its own unique spiritual attributes, in tandem with its more practical utilitarian factor or resource potential.
Common with many pagan peoples around the world, to the Vikings there was no distinction between and material and the spiritual. To cut down a tree was also a ritual. In a land of constant battling against the elements, nothing in the natural or material world was taken for granted, nor was any process or experience spiritually vacant. Magic was woven like a supernatural fabric made of magical, inter-connecting yarns, transcending space and time, between both matter and spirit.
THE SKOGSRÅ, OR THE HULDRA
Central to this Viking folklore of the forests was the female forest deity known as the the Skogsrå, or the Huldra. She was not only a nature spirit of the forest, but also the revealer of secrets to men. Derived from the Germanic mythological tradition, this female seductive archetype of the woods gave the Vikings the secret they required to deal with the murderous onslaught of Charlemagne’s Christian scorched-earth mass murderers coming their way. Subconsciously, she whispered into Vikings ears the secret of the wood contained with the most ancient and sentient of the great trees. The Vikings, a people who had up until late AD 700s, a very limited sea-faring technology and culture, would return from their sanctuary among the secrets told by the Skogsrå, and they would begin to design and construct the greatest sailing vessels the world had ever known up until that point: the Viking longship.
Consider yourself being in the same situation as the Vikings after 782 when a Christian invasion of Scandinavia was almost a certainty. The Vikings would have recognised that any traditional military engagement with a powerful Christian empire would have been suicidal and would have resulted in genocides and forced conversions. The only realistic option was to strike a meaningful and strategically effective blow against the Christian aggressors – guerilla style war – but in this case, a sea borne counter-attack using longships to strike at Christian monasteries, while at the same time locating other sympathetic communities for trade and forming alliances with.
WHY RAID ON MONASTERIES?
Although the notion has grown up through the centuries that monasteries were simple and frugal places of religious devotion were peaceful monks lived their pious lives creating illustrated manuscripts to the glory of their God, the reality was often very different. These monastic institutions were vital strategic intelligence gathering, propaganda disseminating and military supply bases for Christian knights.
Monasteries and the monks living within these – mostly highly fortified and defended – networks of buildings were often despised by local population. The humble and pious monks treated their ‘flock’ as little more than two-legged livestock. When the monks ran the bell in the watchtower to summon the human livestock tilling their fields or milking their cows, the peasants on monastic lands had no choice or the heavily armed monks would ride out and arrest, or in some cases, simply murder them as an example to the others.
Alcoholism, violence and mistreatment of peasants on monastic lands, gluttony, (while the laity around them starved to death) and womanising were not uncommon in many Christian monasteries, and this reputation of the drunken, well-fed, belligerent womanising monk is the origin of the Friar Tuck character from the Robin Hood legend, albeit an image which had been long since water down to that of a individual, more charming, than revolting and selfish.
One of the reasons the Christian monasteries fell so easily to the Vikings was it would seem that in most cases, the locals apparently had no desire to protect the monks. There is even a suggestion that the opposite took place as reported by Alcuin, an English scribe within Charlemagne’s court who complained about the socialising of Christians with Viking heathens, even going as far as adopt Viking styles of dress and manners.
A well-documented and reliable history of locals siding with the invading Vikings is that of the Norwegian Vikings who were welcomed into Dublin and remained in the city for three hundred years. This arrangement was due initially to local Irish Gaelic chieftains having an ambition to team up with the Vikings in order to attack the same monastic institutions which both sides considered as oppressive foreign military bases.
This highlights another positive aspect of Vikings landing on your coast; trade and commerce, and the Vikings were natural merchants willing to do business with the people’s they encountered rather than fight with them for plunder. When the first Vikings settled in Shetland to live among the Pictish peoples, the local soapstone industry flourished with Vikings only too eager to pay for the pots and cooking utensils made from this easily-worked stone with ample amounts of silver. This only compounded the fear of the Christian power structure within the Carolingian Empire as outside the walls of palaces, monasteries and cathedrals economies under Christian control tended to stagnate as there was little or no economic trickle down effect from the royalty, abbots, knights and bishops to the masses.
The locations of these monastic institutions were essentially soft targets for assaults from Viking longships, as they were generally located on undefended coasts and along rivers, and thus, presented ideal targets for the Vikings to hit back at the Christians. They were also filled with goods and treasures the Vikings could plunder in order to build up their own indigenous economy to compensate for lost overland trading opportunities south of Denmark, which became essentially impossible with the expansion of the Carolingian Empire into all of Saxony.
This brilliant plan of strategic strikes upon the lightly-defended targets of Christendom was the primary reason why the Vikings were to be later portrayed by Charlemagne’s propagandists such as Alcuin of Northumbrian, and also within the vellum pages of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, and to a lesser extent in the Irish Annals as savages and thieves rather than the brilliant insurgents and raiders that they actually were. The monks whom the Vikings captured and took away during these raids, were essentially prisoners of war, rather than how they were portrayed as defenceless ‘slaves’ in the hands of the ‘horned devils’ from the lads of the north and west by the Christian scribes.
THE TREE OF THE WOODS AND THE TREE OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Specific mention must be given to the world tree of the Yggdrasil Ash, and the Viking concept and understanding of Hel, along the meaning of Valhalla and the Valkyries. Finally, we examine the Viking endtime mythology of Ragnarök.
Examining these ideas allows us to fully understand how Christian propaganda later co-opted these mythologies and archetypes, as Christian historians and mythographers such the Icelander (of Christian nobility) Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241) compiled an enormous body of work pertaining to Nodic mythology and spirituality. The Frankish priests within the Christian powerbase of central Europe needed to fully understand the power of all pagan mythology upon the peoples they ruled over, in order to get ‘into the minds’ of the native European tribes they were slowly assimilated while creating new Christianised versions of these ancient stories which were to be psychologically entrenched within Nordic, Saxon and Celtic cultures.
Examples of this adaptation and corruption are Saint Patrick and the Druids
, the Arthurian Legends of Britain
and the Grail Mysteries of northern Europe are nothing more than Christian-editorialised manufactured folklore
of the faux-pagan heritage, created as archetypal compensatory mythologies for our ancestors to be able to deal with the spiritual and alien ‘Dead Zone’ of European Christianity.
At the same time this new folklore being created was also a mechanism to degrade positive pagan archetypes by transforming them into snakes, dragons, evil crones and demons to be eventually slain by Crusaders and Teutonic Knights recently having returned from the Middle East. Therefore Saint Patrick – who is best understood as the Henry Kissinger of the Roman Empire – did not order the murder of the last of the Gaelic Druids by having them drown in the waters of Lough Derg, he was instead, ‘ridding Ireland of snakes.’
According to Viking mythology the World Tree of Yggdrasil is located at the epicentre of Asgard where Odin’s long hall of Valhalla is also located. Described as an evergreen Ash, it branches reach out like veins into the Nine Worlds and across and above the cosmos. The tree contains a trio of enormous roots; Urðarbrunnr, Hvergelmir and Mímisbrunnr. The root into Urðarbrunnr, connects to a well where the three Norns of Urðr (Wyrd), Verðandi and Skuld reside. These are the weavers of the lives and fate of both human and beast, as well as the gods themselves. When a child or animal is born the Norns spins their fate into a thread of yarn. The Norns (representing the past, present and future) are awoken everyday by a rooster and then they carry the magical waters from the well and pour it upon the Yggdrasil.
Another root, Hvergelmir, enters the dragon and serpent filled spring from which all waters rise, along with the magical liquid which flows the antlers of Eikþyrnir; the great stag deer. Hvergelmir is located in Niflheim, where resides the great vampire dragon Nidhug who gnaws and tears upon this root constantly (see Hel below). Finally, the remaining root of the Yggdrasil tree, Mímisbrunnr, enters into the land of giants known as Jötunheimr, where huge being of stone and ice reside. It was in the well at Mímisbrunnr where Odin sacrifice one of his eyes in order to drink from the waters so as to attain wisdom.
At the top of the Yggdrasil tree resides four stags, an eagle with no name who is the sworn enemy of the nearby wyrm dragon Níðhöggr, while within the branches of the tree also live Ratatoskr the squirrel. He is a meddling, passive aggressive archetype and performs the function of creating agitation and spreading slanders between the eagle and dragon.
Within the misty ethereal underworld of Niflheim of frozen ice and rivers resides the being name Hel, who is the daughter of Loki. Similar to the Irish archetype of the Spéirbhean Aisling, she has a face filled with lament as she receives the souls of of the dead, while she and her minions attempt to resurrect Baldr, the Nordic god of light and purity. Clearly it is easy see here the similarity with Christian concepts of Hell and Luicifer within this mythology as well as the Vedic diety Kali. Hel also embodies a location, as well as being with references made throughout the Eddas that slain enemies and dragons can now ‘go to Hel’.
Hel is one of the three children of Loki and Angrboða, and her siblings are the apocalyptic wolf Fenrir, the serpent Jörmungandr, the greatest of all serpents. Hel and her siblings were of great concern to gods as their potential to destroy the universe was a given, considering that who their parents were, and having also been raised in world of Jötunheimr among menacing giants; antagonistic to both gods and humans. Again, we can see how this mythology was ideally suited as a punishment and apocalyptic story to be used to tap into the subconscious fears and concerns of Nordic people’s whom the Christians forced to convert. Nordic people who previously feared the punishment of Hel, were easily adapted to be traumatised by an even more terrifying fate within the Christian Hell.
Valhalla and the Valkyries
Upon having been slain in battle, the soul of the Viking warrior was brought to Odin’s great hall at Valhalla (‘Hall of the Slain’). Those who died in battle would be brought to Asgard by the Valkeriers and from there, they would walk through the sacred gate of Valgrind, where beyond the immense hall would be revealed to them. Comprising of five hundred and forty doors allowing eight hundred Viking warrior to exit from in a hurry, so as to battle at moment’s notice, the wolf Fenrir, come the end time of Ragnarök. Inside Valhalla, there is also Bilskirnir, which is Thor’s private hall of five hundred and forty rooms. Upon the roof of Valhalla, stands Heiðrún the goat and Eikþyrnir the deer observing another important tree within Asgard named Læraðr. Mead is produced in enormous quantities for the Viking slain, Thor and Odin which contains within its liquid supernatural attributes and benefits.
Literally translated as ‘Choosers of the Slain’, the Valkyries The Valkyrie are among the most enigmatic and widely recognised of all the old Nordic legends. These female witch-like entities determine whom it is they chose to live or die in the aftermath of Viking battles, and then bringing the souls of fallen Vikings to Valhalla, while the other corpses on the battlefield are taken by the powerful goddess Freyja to the lands of Fólkvangr.
Upon arrival in Valhalla, the warriors chosen by the Valkyries, experience a transmigration of their beings into that of an Einherjar, who must then wait for the end time of Ragnarök, while the flirtatious Valkyries constantly serve them mead. Another interesting aspect of the Valkyries, is their ability to shape-shift into human form to become consorts of human males – often in the guise of the daughters of powerful families – and their presence within the mortal world can be determined by their familiars of ravens and swans. A concept also common in the Gaelic mythological tradition.
The apocalyptic mythology of the Vikings, and one that has conjured up endless visions of bedlam and chaos within the imagination of people long after the end of Viking age, and one that continues to grow in popularity and lore right up to the present day is the Norse prophecy of Ragnarök. This series of future events which culminates in an enormous battle in which many of the supreme deities of Viking mythological pantheon will be killed including Odin, Thor and Loki, along with many humans upon the plain of Vigrid.
The descriptions of the actual battle of Ragnarök within the Eddas tell of fire giants burning bridges down, giant serpents splashing toxic liquids upon opposing armies, along with several mentions of weather warfare which includes mighty winds and targeted tidal waves. Such will be the fury of the battle and the events surrounding Ragnarök, that it allows Fenrir the giant wolf to break forth from his cage, and, then, following the death of Odin, he and other giants beasts will then tear each other asunder until the entire world sinks to the bottom of the sea which has been turned to a boiling cauldron by the intensity of the battle.
WELCOME TO HEL(L)
Now consider Ragnarök in the context of the Vikings being forced to metaphorically ‘enter their own boiling seas’ so as to avoid the very real Christian ‘Ragnarök’ that was being foisted upon them by Charlemagne. The mythology itself gave the Vikings the psychological foundation from which to launch this daring social and cultural metamorphosis from that of being farmers of the land, to warriors of the high seas. The Vikings were not just refugees running in terror from the advancing Christians, they were more akin to seeing themselves as earth-bound Einherjar, adapting to the proto-Ragnarök taking place within northern Europe following the massacre of the Saxons at the “Bloody Verdict of Verden”.
Within the personal and collective subconscious of the Vikings after 782, Charlemagne would have represented nothing less than a living embodiment of the wolf Fenrir. It was only a matter of time before they too would be torn asunder by his insatiable fangs and vicious claws. The Vikings had no choice but to exit the earthly many doors of their own Valhalla; the Fjords of Norway, sailing upon their longships to implement a brilliant and intuitive counter attack in the most effective way they could, by hitting at monastic institutions – the soft underbelly of Fenrir – along the Christian coastlines of northern Europe and beyond.
In the mythological aftermath of the battle of Ragnarök, the world eventually floats back up from the depths of the seas to be reborn and renewed as a fertile land of opportunity and tranquillity. The gods who survived the chaos of Ragnarök would then hold a council and decide to repopulate the earth with a male and female human who survived along with the gods. These two people will find shelter in the still standing Yggdrasil tree under the protection of Odin’s sons Vidar and Vali, and their uncle Honir, along with Thor’s sons Modi and Magni with their father’s hammer Mjölnir. These gods will then emigrate to the unscorched land of Idavoll. A new world will be then constructed.
These were the precisely the thoughts going through the minds of the Vikings as they sailed out from their lands as both warriors and merchants to begin again with a new living mythology of the Viking saga, only to eventually set foot upon a place the called Vinland in 1,000 AD in what is now present day Canada. Five hundred years before the genocidal Christian name Christopher Columbus followed on ships emblazoned with the same Middle Eastern religious insignia that Charlemagne’s armies had also held aloft during the holocaust of the Saxons.
Thomas Sheridan is an author and artist who has travelled the world researching, explaining and resurrecting the cultural and spiritual past of our pre-Christian homelands. An unapologetic romantic on the subject, his media interviews, documentary appearances and talks put a passionate flesh on the bones of our early European ancestors.