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Ancient Religions- Nordic, Principal Beliefs

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Ancient Religions- Nordic, Principal Beliefs

  • November 11, 2008
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Principal beliefs of Nordic religion and its meaning to adherents. The ancient Norse religion was commonly followed and practiced by people in northern regions of the world, such as Scandinavia, Norway, Iceland and surrounding countries. It was believed that the world first came about when a northern and southern land, Niflheim and Muspellheim, both joined together. Niflheim ("house of mists") , an extremely cold, icy land and Muspellheim ("home of desolation") the seemingly opposite of Niflheim, a hot, fiery land. As both lands joined together, the reaction of the contrasting temperatures caused the ice of Niflheim to melt creating the first two living creatures Ymer, the giant and Audhumla, a female cow. From these two the first Gods were created (Odin, Vile and Ve), and from them the first human beings were created by Odin from an elm and ash tree. Due to a disagreeance between Ymer and the God’s, the giant was killed and from his body, landforms and other living races were created.

The gods were revered by many as they were the creators of the races and established the different parts of the world, the world tree or Yggdrasil included. The Yggdrasil is one of the principal beliefs in Nordic religion as it was known as the centre of their nordic universe, the world tree was said to have held nine different realms within its branches. The realms were situated in different areas of the tree at the top, within the canopy; Asgard (heaven) was located. This is where many gods lived including Odin in Valhalla. In addition to Asgard two other realms Vanaheim (home of the fertility god) and Aflheim (home of light elves) were located at the highest level of the world tree. These realms were known as “divine”.

Norse folk believed that Midgard, the middle section of Yggdrasil held the human world. Along with midgard, Nidavellir, Jotunheim and Svartalfhiem, home of the dwarves, giants and dark elves were also present here. At the third and bottom level of the...