Gods and Worshippers in the Viking and Germanic world
By Thor Ewing
Termpus Publishing, 2008
What was paganism really like? Who were the gods and how were they worshipped? These are the questions Thor Ewing addresses in this fresh perspective on the pagan beliefs and rituals of the Viking and the Germanic world, a world which encompasses not only Scandinavia and Germany, but also Anglo-Saxon England.
Gods and Worshippers explores ancient cult sites and religious gatherings, as well as burial customs and the rites of the dead, and it reveals the intimate links between religious and secular power. Using the surviving archaeological evidence as well as the recorded myths and poetry from the various regions, Ewing explores the realities of day-to-day worship, such as sacrifices and sacred space, as well as arguing that traditional magical-religious societies operated in parallel to mainstream society, according to their own distinctive morality and laws.
The picture that emerges is that of a complex pattern of powers which are respected, honoured, propitiated or even cajoled. It is in this relationship between powers and people that the religion exists, and though it takes many forms it is fundamentally one of respect, honour and worship – a relationship between gods and worshippers.
Chapter 2 Invocation
Chapter 3 Gods, groves and idols
Chapter 4 Temples, priests and festivals
Part 2: Another Society
Chapter 5 Seeresses and seers
Chapter 6 Valkyries and norns
Chapter 7 Another society
Epilogue: Rites of the Dead