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Germanic/Norse Religions...


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#16    Spiral staircase

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 07:15 PM

Interesting (to me) side topic but my apologies as well if anyone was bothered. I prefer not to allow pseudo-historians to pass off their (still interesting) theories as history. If they had discipine they could differentiate between the two calmly.

Back on topic, there is a difference between reconstructionism and traditionalism. One is free to choose from either but if one wants the most accuracy then traditionalism is the way to go. In Neopagan circles those who follow traditionalism are known as trads. Just keep in mind that groups in North America will have different purposes than those in Scandanavia with most North American groups veering towards reconstructionism and presenting a "whole religion" that might have never existed in the past in the way we consider religions today.

Below are terms and concepts (bolded for emphasis) that can get you started if you desire to get in touch with traditionalists.

Quote

Folketro (Danish, Norwegian) or Folktro (Swedish) is the Scandinavian for “folk religion” or “superstition“, referring to Scandinavian folklore in particular. In Scandinavian neopagan discourse, the term is used for a religion that consists of a folklore that is believed to be the descendant of historical Norse paganism. Folktro is considered a living tradition and that does not include the use of reconstructionism in any way, nor the use of historical sources such as the Edda or notation of folklore. The term is in conscious contrast to Asatru, the reconstructionist revival of medieval Norse polytheism. Preferred terms are fornsed ”old custom” or nordisk sed ”Nordic custom”, avoiding the connotation of hard polytheism evoked by reconstructionist approaches centered on the Aesir. Attention is rather given to traditional song, dance, folk music and festivals.

Critics refer to the Folketro movement as Funtrad (for Fundamentalistisk Traditionalisme ”fundamentalist traditionalism”. Not to be confused is the “radical traditionalism” of the New Right, which invokes national mysticist or occultist notions of a “Pan-Indo-European tradition” rather than the unpretentious focus on regional customs advocated by Folketro.

Proponents of Folketro include: Samfälligheten för Nordisk Sed, Sweden and Foreningen Forn Sed, Norway

https://marcelgomess.../tag/tolerance/

There are also less provocative approaches to gleaming information from the past without having to resort to pseudo-history and blaming any one group for the loss of records which might have never been written contemporarily.

Quote

The sources of our knowledge about Norse paganism are varied, but do not include any sacred texts that prescribe rituals or explain them in religious terms. Knowledge about pre-Christian rituals in Scandinavia is composed mainly from fragments and indirect knowledge. For instance the mythological eddas tell almost nothing about the rituals connected to the deities described. While the sagas contain more information on ritual acts, they rarely connect those to the mythology. All these texts were written in Iceland after the Christianisation and it is likely that much knowledge about the rituals had then been lost. The mythological tales survived more easily, and the information found in them is probably closer to pagan originals.

http://en.wikipedia...._interpretation

Now my recommendations to learn more about Scandanavian folklore and practice are below.

Quote

RMN Newsletter is an open access bi-annual publication of Folklore Studies / Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies, University of Helsinki (ISSN 1799-4497), appearing in December and May of each year.

http://www.helsinki....ka/English/RMN/

Quote

" ... presents the main features of Siberian shamanism, as they are relevant for comparison with Norse sources, and examines the Norse texts in detail to determine how far it is reasonable to assign a label of "shamanism" to the human and divine magical practices of pre-Christian Scandinavia, whose existence, it is argued, in many cases resides mainly in the imaginative tradition of the poets." -- Back cover.

http://books.google....id=lmIsAQAAIAAJ

Edited by Leave Britney alone!, 15 April 2013 - 07:18 PM.


#17    Setton

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 12:41 AM

View PostDieChecker, on 14 April 2013 - 07:31 PM, said:

I don't think this is quite right... AFAIK, the height of norse religion was in the the 13th century AD. It is very logical to assume that the various gods existed in some form before that, but claiming that it goes unbroken back to 0 AD is quite a statement. Various of these gods can be found all over early Europe and some even crossed into Celtic pantheons and the Romans and Greeks. Elements of the 13th century Norse religion contain elements of Greek, Roman and Christian philosophys and situations. Ragnorok is nothing but the Chrisitian Armagedden put into a Norse context. And the Christian Armagedden is very likely borrowed off several earlier religions.

No... Norse religion was on the wane by 9th Century. It still clung on in parts of Scandinavia but was gradually being replaced by Christianity. It certainly goes back to pre-christian times in one form or another (ask the Romans).

I think you may be getting confused by the Prose Edda, written  in 13th c. and compiled from earlier sources. There are pictoral representations at least back to the 10th c. Also, if you read the whole thing, it is very different to the Christian Armageddon.

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#18    DieChecker

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 01:14 AM

View PostSetton, on 16 April 2013 - 12:41 AM, said:

No... Norse religion was on the wane by 9th Century. It still clung on in parts of Scandinavia but was gradually being replaced by Christianity. It certainly goes back to pre-christian times in one form or another (ask the Romans).

I think you may be getting confused by the Prose Edda, written  in 13th c. and compiled from earlier sources. There are pictoral representations at least back to the 10th c. Also, if you read the whole thing, it is very different to the Christian Armageddon.
Most of the written Norse works that I looked up were 13th or 12th century. That is why I said what I did. These being the clear defining works that outline who the gods were and what each god did and what each god had charge of.

If you went to anyone who said they followed Odin, or Thor, or Loki, or all Aesir... They would probably directly describe what came out of the Prose Edda.

The Romans reported many gods of the Germanic peoples, but whether those proto-norse gods were the same god (Thor, Odin, Tyr, Heimdal, Loki) as have become commonly known is up for debate, IMHO. Certainly Odin was known as Woden as early as 400AD, but even the Norse Language does not go back to 0 AD.

Certainly the Proto-Germanic peoples had similar gods, but might that not be the difference between Zoasterism and Christianity, or Islam and Judaism? Religions can be very similar and have similar roots, but ultimately be different philosophys entirely, or paracticed very much differently.

If we consider Norse to be the same as the Proto-Germanic Religon, which traveled into northern Europe probably 3000 years ago, then we can also say that Christianity is the same as Judiasm, which started about the same time.

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#19    Spiral staircase

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 03:26 PM

View PostDieChecker, on 16 April 2013 - 01:14 AM, said:

If you went to anyone who said they followed Odin, or Thor, or Loki, or all Aesir... They would probably directly describe what came out of the Prose Edda.

It is strongly doubtful that a believer of any of the deities you mentioned would have, "directly describe(d) what came out of the Prose Edda," seeing that the very first lines of the Prose Edda begin with, "In the beginning God created heaven and earth and all those things which are in them; and last of all, two of human kind, Adam and Eve, from whom the races are descended."

The Prose Edda quickly goes on to tell that the Norse deities were actually once humans, Trojans, who left after the war there, moved north, and because of their superior culture became the leaders of the natives up north.

The Prose Edda


Quote

As an historian and mythographer, Snorri is remarkable for proposing the theory (in the Prose Edda) that mythological gods begin as human war leaders and kings whose funeral sites develop cults (see euhemerism). As people call upon the dead war leader as they go to battle, or the dead king as they face tribal hardship, they begin to venerate the figure. Eventually, the king or warrior is remembered only as a god.

Snorri Sturluson

Then we can see that the natives "forgot" that these were men and began to worship them as gods. So a believer in those deities would never have mentioned the Trojan origins which was also popular with others including the Franks and the British. In fact Geoffrey of Monmouth, who added to the Arthurian legends and in whose most popular form can be ascribed to him, also claimed the kings of Britian had Trojan origins.

Edited by Leave Britney alone!, 16 April 2013 - 03:50 PM.


#20    Tutankhaten-pasheri

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:24 AM

@ Bavarian Raven
I quote from your OP "I was wondering if any of you follow the old religion of Germanic paganism (Wodenism, Asatru, etc)". Nobody else has stepped forward, which is a pity, though perhaps because they know of the heap of nonsense that will fall on them. I had thought not to return to this thread because of the very creepy attack on me, and not just in the open on this thread, Hmmm.

However, the deliberate destruction of the old religions coupled with the twisting of what remains, presents us with a one sided view, and works very much against such as I. Christian pedants can quote this or that writing or physical evidence, though they "spin" it to their advantage. Having had a free hand in this for many centuries, it is now difficult to see what the old pagans believed, and this is what Christians want of course. I can quote the same references as others here, and more, as I rather suspect they don't know much about Rodnovery, except perhaps some English wiki article, or their priest telling them lies. Now, I was not raised as a Christian,so have a mind unpolluted by that religion, polluted by other things maybe, but not Christianity. Therefore I can view the old religion in a clearer light than the Christians on this forum. And who the hell are they to lecture pagans about a religion that Christians destroyed? However, a picture paints a thousand words, so, lifted from my wierd blog, a video I made to show, I hope, a pagan thought process. To hopefully show what is in the mind of a pagan living today. I had thought that is one of the reasons for your OP, not some dry debate and nonsense from pagan haters. The video shows what is to come, what is hidden beneath the surface that will rise again (see the second picture), the return of the old gods (whether in reality or only in peoples minds), the hope for the future, (third from last picture), the Sun without which nothing on Earth exists, and something of mine added at the very end to represent eternity, and a sort of trademark :)   I hope this partly answers your OP. It is not directly about the old Germanic religions, though I believe the mindset of old Germanic and old Slavonic pagans would have been very similar, as it seems to be today.
This was a thread clearly primarily for pagans to give answers, and I have answered.



Edited by Atentutankh-pasheri, 17 April 2013 - 09:15 AM.


#21    DieChecker

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:49 PM

View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 16 April 2013 - 03:26 PM, said:

It is strongly doubtful that a believer of any of the deities you mentioned would have, "directly describe(d) what came out of the Prose Edda," seeing that the very first lines of the Prose Edda begin with, "In the beginning God created heaven and earth and all those things which are in them; and last of all, two of human kind, Adam and Eve, from whom the races are descended."

The Prose Edda quickly goes on to tell that the Norse deities were actually once humans, Trojans, who left after the war there, moved north, and because of their superior culture became the leaders of the natives up north.
Ahh... Maybe I was thinking of the Poetic Edda?
http://en.wikipedia....iki/Poetic_Edda

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#22    Bavarian Raven

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:59 PM

Quote

@ Bavarian Raven
I quote from your OP "I was wondering if any of you follow the old religion of Germanic paganism (Wodenism, Asatru, etc)". Nobody else has stepped forward, which is a pity, though perhaps because they know of the heap of nonsense that will fall on them. I had thought not to return to this thread because of the very creepy attack on me, and not just in the open on this thread, Hmmm.

However, the deliberate destruction of the old religions coupled with the twisting of what remains, presents us with a one sided view, and works very much against such as I. Christian pedants can quote this or that writing or physical evidence, though they "spin" it to their advantage. Having had a free hand in this for many centuries, it is now difficult to see what the old pagans believed, and this is what Christians want of course. I can quote the same references as others here, and more, as I rather suspect they don't know much about Rodnovery, except perhaps some English wiki article, or their priest telling them lies. Now, I was not raised as a Christian,so have a mind unpolluted by that religion, polluted by other things maybe, but not Christianity. Therefore I can view the old religion in a clearer light than the Christians on this forum. And who the hell are they to lecture pagans about a religion that Christians destroyed? However, a picture paints a thousand words, so, lifted from my wierd blog, a video I made to show, I hope, a pagan thought process. To hopefully show what is in the mind of a pagan living today. I had thought that is one of the reasons for your OP, not some dry debate and nonsense from pagan haters. The video shows what is to come, what is hidden beneath the surface that will rise again (see the second picture), the return of the old gods (whether in reality or only in peoples minds), the hope for the future, (third from last picture), the Sun without which nothing on Earth exists, and something of mine added at the very end to represent eternity, and a sort of trademark :)   I hope this partly answers your OP. It is not directly about the old Germanic religions, though I believe the mindset of old Germanic and old Slavonic pagans would have been very similar, as it seems to be today.
This was a thread clearly primarily for pagans to give answers, and I have answered.

Thank you for your reply and link. The people of the old religions do take a lot of flack these days - i guess the big three religions are just insecure. I'll give you a more thoughtful reply this weekend when I have more time. Until then, Cheers and peace :)


#23    Spiral staircase

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 02:36 AM

View PostAtentutankh-pasheri, on 17 April 2013 - 08:24 AM, said:

@ Bavarian Raven
I quote from your OP "I was wondering if any of you follow the old religion of Germanic paganism (Wodenism, Asatru, etc)". Nobody else has stepped forward, which is a pity, though perhaps because they know of the heap of nonsense that will fall on them. I had thought not to return to this thread because of the very creepy attack on me, and not just in the open on this thread, Hmmm.

However, the deliberate destruction of the old religions coupled with the twisting of what remains, presents us with a one sided view, and works very much against such as I. Christian pedants can quote this or that writing or physical evidence, though they "spin" it to their advantage. Having had a free hand in this for many centuries, it is now difficult to see what the old pagans believed, and this is what Christians want of course. I can quote the same references as others here, and more, as I rather suspect they don't know much about Rodnovery, except perhaps some English wiki article, or their priest telling them lies. Now, I was not raised as a Christian,so have a mind unpolluted by that religion, polluted by other things maybe, but not Christianity. Therefore I can view the old religion in a clearer light than the Christians on this forum. And who the hell are they to lecture pagans about a religion that Christians destroyed? However, a picture paints a thousand words, so, lifted from my wierd blog, a video I made to show, I hope, a pagan thought process. To hopefully show what is in the mind of a pagan living today. I had thought that is one of the reasons for your OP, not some dry debate and nonsense from pagan haters. The video shows what is to come, what is hidden beneath the surface that will rise again (see the second picture), the return of the old gods (whether in reality or only in peoples minds), the hope for the future, (third from last picture), the Sun without which nothing on Earth exists, and something of mine added at the very end to represent eternity, and a sort of trademark I hope this partly answers your OP. It is not directly about the old Germanic religions, though I believe the mindset of old Germanic and old Slavonic pagans would have been very similar, as it seems to be today.
This was a thread clearly primarily for pagans to give answers, and I have answered.



Nice video, thank you for this entertaining presentation.

The content of the post is so whiny and the Christian vs pagan mindeset, the us vs them mindest, is old, outdated, and does more harm to all than good. Both silly Christians and Neopagans need to enter the 21st century.

I myself am a Christopagan and understand paganism is something more than entertainment, fantasy pictures, pretending to be an ancient priest, wearing funny robes, using greetings like "Merry Meet", or any other mumbo jumbo.

Paganism is real, allows balance, reconnection to the earth, but it isn't all about nature either since most of us live in the city. It isn't about hating where you live if in the city, wanting to live in the country, or see society destroyed as it is now because people who think like us are outnumbered, that is not balance. We all want change but it won't come through hating others.

I have left offerings at trees (ones I find a connection with and not because they have a carved or photshopped face on them), devised my own spells, and still believe in the faith healers known as curanderos (who are a part of my culture and continue the living tradition). It is more folk healing and practices and not a religion that is in competition with any other.

I will admit I know less about Germanic and Scandanavian paganism, especially since I lament the fact that they were very masculine sun worshippers, and that they wiped out the Celts, who were more feminine moon worshippers. I do know much about history and had the Celts not been pushed back to the very corners of Europe we might live in a more fair and balanced world with less agression as displayed by both Christians and Neopagans who want nothing but to destroy and talk bad about others instead of finding balance.

What is certain to me is that academia has more answers than reconstructionists when it comes to how things were long ago.

I don't think paganism has much to do with electric guitars and rock music mixed with chants in an attempt to sound ancient and pagan, that is just another form of entertainment. Neither do I find that Germanic or Scandanavian paganism has anything to do with Egyptian symbols.

I don't know the language but you could probably learn more form a video like this (and notice the clothes is rather normal):



That is the real deal and not just pretend.

View PostDieChecker, on 17 April 2013 - 07:49 PM, said:

Ahh... Maybe I was thinking of the Poetic Edda?
http://en.wikipedia....iki/Poetic_Edda

Great! I was beginning to wonder.

One view is that the Poetic Edda's were written by a heathen but in a culture who had Christian influence to some degree. That they were the material of minstrels commited to the written word after being passed on solely by word of mouth. How much was changed in that process is up for debate but the Poetic Edda is much older than the Prose Edda, indeed. Thank you for setting it straight for us.

Edited by Leave Britney alone!, 18 April 2013 - 02:53 AM.


#24    Tutankhaten-pasheri

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 06:44 AM

The post above shows what I am up against in this forum. This poster describes themselves as a Christopagan, troll like garbage. He also has the habit of sending me insulting PMs. This gets rather wierd, but I know from experience that some will stop at nothing to close down debate. Some openly scream at you, others, like this one, use more subtle means, though they are not so subtle to me, as I saw this type of BS very often.

To anybody else, please do not be fooled by this poster, he tells lies. The post above this is full of garbage and sly distortions. An example is that he has made a comment to show that I have confused European pagan symbols with those from AE, so "proving" that I am confused and don't know what I am talking about, and indeed most of his post is along these lines. Yet I wrote this in my description of the video "and something of mine added at the very end to represent eternity, and a sort of trademark" This clearly shows the last image was not meant to be seen in context with the other images. But with posters like him, perfection is demanded at all times, or he will be all over you, just like trolls operate, always looking for the smallest error or perceived error. I hope the intelligent people on this forum, and I know there are many, will see through this posters cheap tricks. He will reply with the same type of garbage against me. Oh he will seem very polite and informed, but his posts are full of distortions and sly and patronising insults.

And as I have come across creeps like this before, I will pre-empt a possible reply from him. He sent me a long and rambling PM that was essentially one long insult. I replied, without abuses, that he should keep out of my way. Today he sent a second PM that was much shorter and just an insult, my reply had two words, you can guess which two. I write this as it is likely he will post some lies here about this matter, but that is what this poster likes to do.

Edited by Atentutankh-pasheri, 18 April 2013 - 07:39 AM.


#25    Spiral staircase

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 06:48 AM

?


#26    Frank Merton

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:14 AM

I would like to point out something people seem little aware of -- the Norse and Germanic religions are part of a much larger Indo-European group of religions, and line up with the Indo-European languages.  Thus the Slavic, original Persian (before Zoroastrianism), Indian, Hittite, Greco-Roman and Celtic religions all appear to have had a common root.

They all tend to have anthropomorphic super-man and super-woman quasi-immortal deities who form a family with each deity having certain special animals and places holy to them, and specializing in something -- hence a god of war, a god of agriculture, a god of the family, a god of thunder, and so on.  Indeed, these religions were so similar that generally even the locals identified the foreign deities with their own.

The line-up of these religions with other cultural similarities, and especially the Indo-European language families, indicates common cultural origins.  Later of course Semitic religions came to dominate most of these regions, except in India where Hinduism shows signs of the old ideas but mixed with earlier Indian ideas of reincarnation and karma.


#27    Spiral staircase

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:36 AM

^

I don't have as many issues with the hypothesis of a PIE religion than I do with Hislop's method of comparative religion.

And can you believe that some are actually attempting to reconstruct a PIE religion? I cannot imagine they are aiming for accuracy.

Edited by Leave Britney alone!, 18 April 2013 - 07:37 AM.


#28    Frank Merton

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:54 AM

Such reconstructions are valid and have a sensible method.  They have even succeeded in predicting the presence of characteristics not found in descendants but later shown to have been present.  (For example certain affixes were predicted for Indo-European and were later found when Hittite was deciphered).

My main interest is in discerning what aspects of Indian religions come from the early Indus valley civilizations and which were later introduced with the Indo-Aryan invasions.  It begins to appear that this may not be at all straightforward as there seems to have been considerable interchange between the Indus Valley and central Asian cultures from very early on.  Still, the basic India concepts of rebirth (reincarnation) and karma found in all India-derived religions and the massive pantheon found only in Hinduism clues one in that the pantheon was introduced but the more philosophical ideas are in India more ancient.


#29    Tutankhaten-pasheri

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:55 AM

View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 18 April 2013 - 02:36 AM, said:

I don't know the language but you could probably learn more form a video like this (and notice the clothes is rather normal):

This is simply a Norwegian summer folklore practice. I doubt any of these people are pagans at all. What they do is no different to Slavs celebrating Ivan Kupala. Or even English children dancing around a Maypole. These things may, or may not, have a pagan origin, but they are practised by, highly likely, Christian members of the public, not specificaly by pagans. I rate this poor attempt by you to spread dis-information at
Posted Image


#30    Spiral staircase

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 08:44 AM

Thank you for making that clear for us. It was indeed my attempt to try and find something along the lines of Folketro practice, as practiced by pagans. I seemed to have failed here so the OP and others if interested will have to revert back to my advice in post #16 if they are interested in researching that (non-reconstructionist) aspect of (traditionalist) paganism.

You also seem to be partially right in this instance.

Quote

It celebrated the typical Norwegian midsummer in the archipelago of flowers! At the same time drawn the connection to the outside world and the worship of the sun, nature and fertility for thousands of years.

http://www.nrk.no/sk...rk:klipp/648919

I would still prefer to hear what Kari Vogt, historian of religion (previously with the University of Oslo), and Asgjerd Taksdal, former cultural heritage manager, have to say about your statement especially the part on whether or not they have a pagan origin. Most likely they would use more tact and be less agressive overall as well, try it sometime!

Just to shed more light on that video in particular I will add the following.

Quote

'At this time of year, we dance around a maypole, drink and eat - for many it's bigger than Christmas,' says Claes. Certainly more nostalgic.

...

There's a strong desire for escapism and nostalgia. Perhaps that explains the continuing ritual of the rising of the the Midsummer pole. Said to have been brought to Sweden in the 15th century by German merchants, the maypole is traditionally clad with leafy branches and flowers.

'Everyone joins in, young and old,' says Claes, demonstrating his favourite dance - Sma Grodorna or Tiny Frogs, which involves crazed hopping in a circle

...

Celebrating the summer solstice predates Christianity. Nature is king, and eroticism and fertility are recurring themes. Legend has it that on the evening before the longest day, girls should pick seven wild flowers, including buttercups and forget-me-nots, and place them under their pillows to dream of their future husbands.

http://www.dailymail...m-Sandhamn.html

Quote

As in Denmark, Sankthansaften is celebrated on June 23 in Norway. The day is also called Jonsok, which means "John's wake", important in Roman Catholic times with pilgrimages to churches and holy springs. For instance, up until 1840 there was a pilgrimage to the stave church in Røldal (southwest Norway) whose crucifix was said to have healing powers. Today, however, Sankthansaften is largely regarded as a secular or even pre-Christian event.

In most places the main event is the burning of a large bonfire. In parts of Norway a custom of arranging mock marriages, both between adults and between children, is still kept alive. The wedding was meant to symbolize the blossoming of new life. Such weddings are known to have taken place in the 1800s, but the custom is believed to be older.

It is also said that if a girl puts flowers under her pillow that night, she will dream of her future husband.


http://en.wikipedia....idsummer#Norway



Keep in mind that we all have our own values, here are a couple of mine:

Traditionalism>reconstructionism

Christopaganism (open acceptance)>Christian vs pagan (hatred, agression, and exclusion)





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